A newly approved code for the financial services industry to track gun store purchases could open the door to “privatized government surveillance,” experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved the creation of a new merchant code for firearms stores to use when processing credit and debit card transactions, Reuters reported Friday. However, the code could lead to innocent Americans being surveilled should companies coordinate with the government to probe sales, experts say.
“If you go into a gun store, presumably, particularly with larger purchases, they’re going to at least try to infer that it is probable you bought a firearm,” John Harris, a lawyer who heads the Tennessee Firearms Association, told the DCNF. “It could expand the trend we see where certain banks or credit card companies may say ‘we’re not going to allow a company with a particular ISO code to use our services.'”
ISO was founded in 1947 and votes on global standards for business transactions. Credit card companies are not required to implement the codes. There are 167 countries, including the U.S., that are members of the Swiss-based non-governmental organization (NGO).