Financial Surveillance Fear Looms As Cashless Payments Boom Due to Coronavirus

Experts believe that data brokers may make use of your spending data and could sell it for huge profits

The coronavirus outbreak has changed the entire course of human lives, and this pandemic has also reshaped the way in which people spend money. Even though the World Health Organization has never advised people not to use paper cash, the world has witnessed a drastic surge in cashless payments post the coronavirus outbreak, as many people believe that COVID-19 could spread through currency notes.

Shops Accepting Digital Payments

In countries like the United States where the coronavirus has wreaked ultimate havoc, several shops and business units have displayed signs that read: 'We only accept contactless payment'. Recently, a poll conducted by Mastercard also revealed that 82 percent of their users consider contactless payments cleaner than cash.


Post the coronavirus outbreak, people consider online shopping as the best way to avoid contact with people, and as a result, Amazon's value alone has risen by $570 billion this year.

Financial Surveillance Fear Looms Up

Jack Parkin, Digital Economist at the Western Sydney University revealed that financial surveillance is one of the negative results of cashless payments. According to Parkin, financial data is one of the most valuable data that can be sold for a huge profit.

"The growth of digital transactions exposes yet another aspect of our personal life too, what the social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff has called, "surveillance capitalism". Financial data is now a valuable raw material that can be bought, sold, and refined in the name of profit," wrote Parkin in the Conversation.

Parkin also added that tax officials are actually loving the way in which people are doing digital transactions, as it helps them to monitor the nation's economy easily. However, data brokers may make use of this opportunity, and they will try to build digital profiles after analyzing your spending pattern.

"The devices at everyone's fingertips become a feedback loop of information in which companies analyze what people have bought and then urge them to buy more," added Parkin.