I am lucky in these days of business in bulk that I live 300 meters from a giant supermarket, as it`s a convienience if I run out of an obscure item of foodstock, such as a lack of pre-processed cheese slices (which becomes apparent only after you have started frying the beefburgers, sausage and bacon for your "HappyHeartProblems" burger first thing in the morning). I can turn down the heat, jog accross the road with my Switch card and leave a footprint which, over a period of a few months, might encourage Bob at Head-Office to put the price of milk slabs up because some idiot is always buying them on their own and they are obviously of paramount importance to him. That, or a data sniffing doctor from Alcoholics Anonymous could be round at any moment investigating my late night beer runs.

Put together, data from supermarkets, national health computers, the Department of Vehicle Licencing, the police and the social security can paint a perfect portrait of activity for the majority of plastic purchasers in present society.

Of course, many people try to avoid this by not having a bank account and paying for everything by cash. But even then, your employer still has to declare to the Government how much money he pays you or any other of his employees, and Bob can put together a picture of your lifestyle from this, and any other information about your friends and relatives who leave a more conventional electronic footprint during their travels.

Like Bob does with serial killers.

Trust me. If Bob is really intent on investigating you then there are a wealth of video tapes out there that have recorded your every move. Walking around town, collecting your Giro and heading to the Pub and then to your herbal supplier.

How long has cash got, anyway? We will be trading sexual favours for hash in ten years.

In fact, in order to not leave an electronic footprint in todays society, you have to stay indoors and send someone else out to get anything you need to survive, burn all your garbage and not use any pay services such as Gas, Water and Electricity. But you would still leave a thermal footprint as you paced round the house, which a passing Nasa satallite sending down it`s "Thermal Snapshot" of the earth could see. I have no doubt at all that Bob could persuade it to investagate if your activities contravene National Security.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.