Pasmo Cards Used to Prove Extramarital Affairs?

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    Pasmo smart cards are extremely useful for traveling on public transportation in the Tokyo region.

    However, the use of such cards has raised privacy issues. As this news report shows, people have used the online data from Pasmo to check the travel history of their partners and expose infidelities:

    Until recently, Pasmo made it possible to check a customer’s last three months of travel and purchase information. All one needed to do was enter some basic personal information on the customer: name, birth date, phone number, and card number. Given the amount of personal data people put on their Facebook accounts these days, it would not be difficult to investigate a friend. The hardest part would be copying down the person’s card number.

    After discovering that some investigative businesses were advertising their use of the online service to investigate cheating partners, Pasmo shut it down.

    However, there is still another way to find out a customer’s travel history. All one needs to do is take the Pasmo card to a nearby station and put it into a ticket vending machine. A travel history can then be readily printed out.

    (Presumably, there may also be similar issues with other IC cards, such as Suica and Icoca.)

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