Cash and Data

Photo of Australian currency
Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

Reporting for ABC News, Nicola Heath, Laura Heaton, and Marc Fennell discuss the issues surrounding the transition away from the use of cash in Australia. They note the dramatic reduction in the percentage of transactions involving cash as the result of the convenience of using electronic means of of exchange. They cite the advantages of abandoning cash as increased convenience, transparency, and security.

Although the majority of the population has moved away from cash, there are certain segments for whom the move to only electronic payments would pose problems. These include those living in remote areas without electronic payments facilities, those lower income individuals without bank accounts, undocumented immigrants, victims of abuse who hide cash from their abusers, and anyone else who cares about privacy. Transparency has advantages, but electronic payments generate data to track all sorts of behavior, and there has been little attention to preserving individual rights to private activity. Convenience may have its own costs!

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