Oh dear… All of my pet subjects come together in one story: The Freedom of Information Act, Radio Frequency Identification technology and the theory of the “surviellant assemblage”.

Journalists at the BBC have used the Freedom of Information Act to discover that police are increasingly using data collected using London Underground’s Oyster cards in their investigations.

The RFID-based smartcard tickets have a unique identifier and can be used to track users’ movements. This is very useful for transport management, but also very useful for police investigations. Police have requested data collected by the cards 61 times in January alone, compared with just seven requests in all of 2004.