Paper, Plastic. And Your Charge Card…

The "gatherer" becomes the "hunted"...

Is nothing safe anymore as seems that criminals have even hacked the credit card readers at self-checkout lanes in more than 20 supermarkets of a Californian (where else) chain operator.  As this “hack” has allowed the “Perps”  to steal money from shoppers who swiped their cards in the unknowingly bastardized  machines. As the chain involved and name (insert humor here) implies, Lucky Supermarkets, which is part of the larger  “Save Mart” family of stores has now decided to start inspecting the rest of its over 234 stores located throughout California and northern Nevada.  In additional  and rightfully so too are urging their customers who might used self-checkout lanes to close their  credit card accounts.

It appears the hack was hardware based and discovered on November 11, when an employee performing routine maintenance on a self-checkout machine  where they discovered an extra computer board which had been placed inside the checkout machine, and was recording customers financial information.  Now there wasn’t a lot of information on how the “Perps” were getting the information off the added board.  However one could guess that it was via modem as those nice devices have one built in typically for card verification.

You may also be wondering why I brought this up, as while interesting consumer news fodder it struck me as making a good point. As here in the past we’ve waxed about the (false) concept of privacy and in fact it was only the cost of breaching it and the “fact” of technology only provides the cheaper cost and not the means.  As the “means” is in fact created by we the people as in our “need” to “gather” or collect information which is most likely driven by the anthropological need “to gather”.

On the other side we have the “hunter” who instead of passively “gathering” what’s presented, actively and forcefully seeks their prey.  Here it’s the combination of the two which forms the driver as while you may legislate rules upon the “gatherer” as to what they will gather.  You will not be able to do the same with the “hunter”, therefore whatever the gatherer fails to full-fill the hunter will assuredly pick up.  As the analogous lines to be drawn from this story is the stores normal operation act as the “gatherer, while the rogue activity is the “hunter”.

The key take away from all of this is we all, whether we like it or not live on a public stage and the only difference is  if someone decides to watch our show or not…

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About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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