W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > March 2013

Re: Web Payments and Privacy

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sat, 02 Mar 2013 10:52:55 -0500
Message-ID: <51322057.5060909@digitalbazaar.com>
To: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
CC: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 02/07/2013 01:02 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
> Certainly I'll give it a go. I expect the list to suggest major 
> revisions, which is good because it will allow me to learn some 
> things about what's actually going on. :-)

Great start, Steven. I agree w/ everything up to this point:

> We have one general suggestion for how this stand-off might be 
> resolved in legislation: institute a tiered system, for example as 
> follows:
> 1. SMALL money transfers and purchases (which will by default have 
> anonymity as an option). 2. LARGE money transfers and purchases 
> (which will require traceable I.D.) 3. LEGAL WARRANT: Purchases of 
> ANY SIZE that show enough evidence of possible wrongdoing to trigger 
> a legal warrant to force I.D. to be used.

re: #1 - Much money laundering and terrorist funding is done via small
amounts (think $10-$15 purchases). In these cases, physical goods are
exchanging hands - like CDs, or hats, etc.

This sort of laundering can sometimes be caught when the criminal
withdraws money from the network. So, perhaps some variation of your
rules above would still work as long as we assume that the money has to
hit a bank at some point... but what happens if people use PaySwarm to
actually do drug purchases directly? The money never leaves the system
and the limits fail.

Maybe a different approach is needed - you cannot do more than $2,500 in
transactions a month with an anonymous account. If we do that, what
prevents people from creating as many anonymous accounts as they need?
Maybe the PAs then have a limit on the number of anonymous accounts? Or
the PAs limit the amount of anonymous transactions that can be performed
per month?

Clearly, the solution is to put limits on this sort of activity, and
perhaps that's all we should say. I don't think we're in a position to
prescribe a solution yet. The people that should be prescribing a
solution are the people that have access to figures on how modern money
laundering and terrorist funding works.

Just thinking out loud... but I do think that #1, #2, and #3 need to be
reworked. The focus shouldn't be on the purchaser... it should probably
just be on per-profile money transfer volume. A limit should also be
placed on the number of anonymous accounts that can be created.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Aaron Swartz, PaySwarm, and Academic Journals
Received on Saturday, 2 March 2013 15:53:26 UTC

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