Liza Goldenberg

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This paper will examine how, given the United States’ shift toward a cashless economy, the country’s top credit-card companies’ potential decision to implement a new merchant code for firearm-related transactions as a method of gun control will backfire, jeopardizing consumer privacy and leading to unregulated transactions through cryptocurrencies. Since the majority of gun violence stems from firearm transactions not involving credit cards, credit-card companies should abandon the new merchant code that dissuades Americans from exercising their fundamental rights. The American economy should focus on slowing the shift toward a digital economy so that federal and state governments can implement legislation that safeguards privacy rights within the context of new technology. Part I will trace the public policy and market factors that have spurred the global shift toward a digital economy. Part II will dissect federal Fourth Amendment case precedent as it pertains to modern technology and the latest social trends. Part III will analyze various state laws and their insufficiencies in safeguarding privacy rights given new, intrusive technology. Part IV will discuss the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) new policy and the different privacy concerns that may arise. Part V will highlight the deficiencies in the ISO’s new policy. Part VI will outline three methods to slow the United States’ shift toward a cashless economy, which will secure additional time for federal and state governments to address concerns for fundamental rights pertaining to digital-payment systems.

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