Despite a lot of talk about customer security and information safeguards when the TFL Oyster card was launched a few years back, it seems that all the promises have come to nothing.
Latest scuttlebutt suggests that the UK Secret Services are seeking legal and fully automated access to the Oyster card database, allowing them to trawl for any and all travel co-ordinates of card owners.
According to the Observer newspaper, MI5, MI6 and other agencies have formally requested access to the complete database.
At the moment they they need a warrant and can then only obtain travel details of one person's card.
The Oyster card is a no-brainer for most Londoners and even occasional (weekly) visitors like myself, as it all but halves the cost of using London's transport network.
The only solution to this incredible invasion of privacy by the UK Secret Services is to buy an Oyster card in a false name and top up using cash.
This is a pain and, if you lose the card, it's like losing cash.
The Observer newspaper, meanwhile, says the Information Commissioner has given the green light to the UK Secret Services automated access to the Oyster travel database plans.
Word like `invasion,' `of,' `privacy' and `massive' spring to mind.
TFL made a privacy promise when they launched the Oyster card. They've broken it. It's as simple as that.
George Orwell's 1984 here we come..