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Face-Pay? How COVID is Accelerating Facial Recognition Payment Systems

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest social engineering agenda items that’s being aggressively pushed by the Establishment in the wake of the COVID crisis – is the dubious idea that society must now go ‘cashless’ in order to stop the spread of coronavirus and ‘save lives.’ As a result, various applications for contactless payments are now being adopted, including a new system which uses your face as your ID.

How did we get here so fast? The concept of the cashless society has been nudged along for decades, but it seems that COVID has accelerated the program, and like most crisis-driven narratives, it was propelled by fake news.

Initially, the official conspiracy theory was drifted out into the global information space by the World Health Organization (WHO) and was based on early unconfirmed reports coming out of China which western mainstream media were eager to latch on to.

The suspicions were groundless, but due to an atmosphere of fear which was being fostered by the WHO and others, this false idea of cash being a vector for a deadly virus took hold deep in the psyche of western consumers and vendors alike.

It should also be noted that the single biggest funder of WHO is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (nearly $400 million per year), and Bill Gates’s Microsoft empire is one of the lead developers in both new facial recognition and ‘universal’ digital ID systems. Also, in 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation help start a global initiative to phase out cash called, Better Than Cash. It would be disingenuous to say there are no conflicts of interests in the current ‘pandemic’ and ‘New Normal’ social engineering arenas.

Since then, WHO have come under fire from critics, and recently a spokeswoman was forced to walk-back the wild claim which had previously gone viral in March after appearing in a widely cited article in the U.K. media with the unsubstantiated claim that, “banknotes may be spreading the new coronavirus” and “customers should wash their hands after touching banknotes because infectious Covid-19 may cling to the surface for a number of days.”

“We did NOT say that cash was transmitting coronavirus,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told MarketWatch.

“We were misrepresented,” she said.

But it was too late. The mind virus has already spread around the planet, with shops and businesses now using this false idea to advertise how they would no longer accept cash on the basis that it somehow posed a threat to public health.

Technology writers at MIT also stated their reservations and remarked that,”… the truth is, there isn’t much evidence that quitting cash would make a difference, at least in the case of Covid-19.”

You’re more likely to pick up Covid-19 from people exposure than from the type of payment.”

More interestingly, following the upswell of Black Lives Matter street protesters, ‘woke’ corporate boards from top tech firms like Microsoft and IBM – all placed a moratorium on selling their latest facial recognition technology software to police departments.

Moreover, in this current ‘pandemic’ environment, and as with most shoppers – many of these same protesters are now wearing masks in public – so one can only expect to see even more advanced facial recognition or digital ID systems where an individual could be ID’s digitally – even while wearing a face covering.

Regardless, this latest drive for more ‘convenience’ (supposedly to ‘save time waiting in line’) should be viewed as another level of corporate and state surveillance of the individual – and part of the relentless drive to completely eliminate anonymous transactions forever.

This new method of payment does not yet have a brand name, but we can assume it will be something marketable and socially ubiquitous, like “Face Pay”…

Sam Dean from LA Times writes….

A new way to pay has arrived in Los Angeles: your face.

As so-called contactless payments rise in popularity during the pandemic, a Pasadena company called PopID is rolling out the nation’s first payment system based on facial recognition at a smattering of restaurants near its headquarters, including mom-and-pop operations such as Daddy’s Chicken Shack and regional chains such as Lemonade.

The system is simple: A customer signs up on their phone, takes a selfie and adds cash to their Pop Pay account from a credit card or bank account. When it comes time to pay for their meal, they look into the camera of a PopID tablet or kiosk (no smiling necessary), the cashier verifies their name, and money is withdrawn from the account.

For customers, the experience is eerily seamless, at least when it’s functioning properly. (The software struggles at recognizing faces with masks.)

For restaurants, the service is fast and cheap, assuming customers sign up for it. Easier ordering can speed up lines, and PopID is offering lower fees to process each payment than other payment processing or credit card companies.

In China, more than 100 million people signed up for a similar face payment system in 2019 after 7-Eleven installed it at hundreds of locations, tech giant Alipay is rolling out face payments across the country, and, since July, commuters in the southern city of Guiyang have been able to pay their bus fare using their face.

But PopID’s system is the first to get up and running in the U.S., where facial recognition technology is under intense scrutiny from regulators and privacy advocates.

Eight cities in the U.S., including San Francisco, Oakland and Boston, have banned government use of the technology, arguing that the software is both too powerful a surveillance tool and too inaccurate when finding matches to be safely used by police. During the nationwide protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon all committed not to sell their facial recognition technology to law enforcement, at least temporarily. And Portland, Ore., may soon become the first city to ban even private use of the technology…

Continue this story at the LA Times

READ MORE CORONAVIRUS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Coronavirus Files




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