Oyster catcher

London Underground Tube Diary – Going Underground’s Blog

What a story! (Link above).

"And the next witness is…….. an Oystercard

Suspicious partners use Oystercard to track infidelities. Ian sent me a link to an article in Sunday’s Independent, about how people were using Oystercard to track their partner’s travel movements.

"Oyster cards, the ‘smart’ little blue thing in London commuters’ wallets that enable them to travel at will around the capital, have another, unexpected function. They could also be a one-way ticket to the divorce courts."

As your every journey is recorded on an Oystercard it seems a great way to spy on your partner if you are that way inclined. ‘The electronic lipstick-on-the-collar is revealed to anyone – the holder or their partner – who takes the card to a machine on the Underground or keys in its serial number on a website to get a read-out of every journey taken in the past 10 weeks.’

One private investigator said: ‘Oyster cards won’t tell you that the bloke’s been cheating on his wife, but it will show if he’s been in one part of town when he’s supposed to be somewhere else. It is an easy thing to confront your partner with. It doesn’t look like you’ve been snooping around too much.’ "

The post continues at the link above, complete with picture of Oyster card with lipstick kiss (clicheville).

I can’t use an Oyster card becuase I live in zone 6 and the cards are good only for zones 1 to 4. It is deeply untrendy to live this far out of the centre — to be cool you either have to live right in the hub of the metropolis or really far out of London altogether, eg little village in Kent or Hertforshire or, if money is no object, Henley or some Oxfordshire village.

It is beginning to sound as if zone 6 is actually a pretty safe place to live.

Mind you, the post on London Undeground blog over-eggs the pudding a bit at the end:

"However, it looks like your Oystercard may become even more "useful", as through the article I learnt that Oystercard planners are trying to enable Oystercard holders to pay for their shopping in nearly 4,000 shops with their cards. "The records of where a person has shopped, as well as where they have travelled, will then be stored on the card." So then you’ll not only be able to see where you might be cheated on, but what your partner is buying their lover too!"