Security is indeed a big selling point for the i Phone maker.When we pay for goods in a shop, we hand over our credit or debit cards, freely giving away our card numbers and our identities.“I really don’t see how this sort of policy could be taken seriously – it sends a wrong message to consumers,” she said.“In fact, as a consumer my first reaction would be not to use this product.It will allow users to upload credit or debit cards to Apple’s Passbook, and then pay for goods by simply holding their device against contactless readers in shops.Swathes of retailers and other vendors have already signed up for the service, including Mc Donalds, Marks & Spencer, Starbucks, Boots and Nando’s.However, it is unsettling that a single corporation could know more about us than the Government, banks and security services combined.” It makes Apple invaluable to other businesses that want access to our shopping habits.When Facebook shifted its users across to its private messaging service Messenger last year, there was uproar when the few who took the time to scroll through the terms and conditions realised they were agreeing to being snooped on for more targeted advertising.
Unlike with contactless payments, where anyone can use a card, i Phone users will need to hold the fingerprint scanner while tapping as an added security measure.
Users of Apple Pay are given a unique “device account number” which is stored in the i Phone’s dedicated chip – and importantly never on Apple’s servers – thereby “tokenising” the card number, to use an industry term. While it’s true that retailers will not have access to our details, the largest public company in the world will, if only for short periods of time.
That means the vendor does not gain access to your personal information, only the special number Apple gives you. Apple will be privy to our all-important spending habits and will quickly be able to create a virtual profile of each of its users: where we shop and how frequently; what we buy; how much we spend; and so on.
We have to question whether our data is safe enough on our mobiles.”The US version of Apple Pay launched in October last year.
There have already been issues with fraudsters adding stolen card details to their devices, making it easier to get around chip-and-pin security.