Mass Surveillance: why China is promoting Cashless Economy

China has been developing its Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), in other words, the digital yuan, for several years. The country is currently conducting massive domestic trials, and plans to offer the currency to guests during the 2022 Winter Olympics. Simultaneously, the Chinese government is carrying out a massive advertising campaign, which, however, cannot convince Western critics.

Among other issues, particular concerns arise around possible restrictions on individual liberties – words that have sounded next to the name of China way too often. While the country’s government vows not to track small private transactions, critics are convinced otherwise, Bloomberg writes, citing the Center for a New American Security. According to the organization, e-renminbi “represents a significant risk to the long-held standards of financial privacy upheld in free societies.”

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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