The lost card world

The only thing I support about Labour is their trial to introduce a basic income in Wales. I really think a basic income would solve a lot of secondary problems of the rich and the poor world we have right now.

For example a lost card world has emerged.

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What this means is that if people hang around long enough outside of train stations or bus stations, they can bet to find a lost travel card somewhere, if not more than one.

What happens then is that a person advertises this lost card on social media. Yesterday I came across a travelcard of a child being advertised on Facebook as lost.

Facebook told me they don’t mind this happening. Even though it breaches the privacy laws to publish the details of a minor without the parents’ consent, Facebook doesn’t mind.

Now not even TFL minds that their travel cards are advertised on Facebook, in the hope of -reuniting the card with the owner.

Even relatives of school staff are involved in this. I have not yet heard back from the school in question whether they mind that their staff and family are involved of advertising children’s lost travel card on Facebook.

Complications would arise if there is a common name on the card. So if two Peter Joneses lost their cards and the first one picks it up but it actually belongs to the second one, someone gets a lost travel card until the original owner reports it as lost to TFL, that is when it gets cancelled. There is quite a big movement on advertising lost travel cards on a Facebook group, that so far has attracted in excess of 25 k followers. TFL only cancels cards if the original owner tells them, not if they get to know the card is advertised as lost on Facebook. TFL in fact doesn’t mind that some persons advertise their lost cards on Facebook.

When it comes to bank cards the situation drastically changes. I have seen quite a few ‘lost’ bank cards advertised on Facebook. To be collected by the real owner in a local shop for example or the advertiser asks to contact him/her.

What I find especially worrying about bank cards is that the ‘finder’ has no way of ascertaining whether the card loser was the actual owner of the bank card or is indeed entitled to have it. It may be a stolen card or borrowed card or something similarly sinister.

In the case of lost travel cards the advertisers claim that poor people could not afford to replace the cards, as if they magically know that the loser is a poor person. But in the case of bank cards, such arguments do not hold water, as bank cards are replaced free of charge.

Then there are the lost keys advertised on Facebook. Quite amazing. I can imagine that if you are homeless a bunch of keys to a flat would be attractive to you, if it is advertised on Facebook. How indeed would the finder know how to sort out ownership of the keys.

People used to hand in lost items at police stations or in case of travel cards at TFL but now they put it on social media instead and I wonder what else happens.

Obviously only the loser of an items would know the item. For example on the day of my driving test I was so nervous that I lost my key in the local post office. Upon returning there the staff could remember the keys being lost and me and returned the keys to me. However had the keys been advertised on social media, quite a few people would have come forward to claim them. Or my daughter lost her travel card in a bus, the bus driver still had it on the return journey and could remember us and so returned it to me. But had this card been advertised on social media, it would have been different. There are quite a few people with that name on the card.

What is really important is that there is a degree of privacy between the card issuer and the card holder and the bond between the two is being interrupted by third persons who take on the role of re-distributing those cards to anyone who claims them thereby circumventing the genuine owner of the cards.

Those third parties, publish the names of card holders publicly without being challenged of doing so.

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