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State computers running on AI emptied private bank accounts in Aussie

It's easy to give the Reserve Bank of NZ a hard time on so many fronts, so let's give them some credit for trying to defend the use of cash which is being threatened as banks close branches, pull out ATMs, more shops refuse to accept it and the public continue to switch to making digital payments. So the RBNZ is now working on a blueprint to save cash. “We're worried that if we don’t act soon, the cash system won’t be able to perform the roles required of it,” said Christian Hawkesby​, the Assistant Governor. “Falling cash use for everyday needs and the retreat from cash services by banks and retailers threaten financial and social inclusion for some, and have the potential to undermine the important role cash provides under-pinning confidence in private money in bank accounts,” he said.

Regards the dangers lurking as the move to a non-cash world gains momentum, making us dependent on funds held electronically, take a read of this story from The Sydney Morning Herald:

"The State's [New South Wales] debt-collection agency unlawfully used an automated system to claw back unpaid fines from financially vulnerable people, in some cases emptying bank accounts and leaving them unable to buy food or pay rent. NSW Ombudsman Paul Miller has called for greater transparency in the government’s use of artificial intelligence after Revenue NSW was found to have used the technology to issue garnishee orders, without an authorized person ever overseeing it ...

[One] case involved a woman on a disability support pension who had recently secured social housing after she became the victim of a crime. All money was cleared from her account by the automated system, including a payment from Victims Services .... The mechanism was deemed unlawful because no authorized person engaged in a mental process of reasoning before an order was issued. The machine technology was the subject of a spate of complaints and prompted the investigation by the Ombudsman. External legal advice sought by the Ombudsman for the period between 2016 and 2019 found the original automated process used to garnishee bank accounts was unlawful".

So it's becoming clearer what those promoting a "cashless society" are opening us up to. That is, algorithms run by State computers, with no human-being involved, using AI tech, deciding whether you owe money and, if so, automatically gaining access to your personal bank account and emptying it of funds.



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