Metro, Paris, privacy

It will cost more to ride the Metro incognito

Photo: phverant / Flickr

  • The new “Discovery” version of the Navigo card, which guarantees the confidentiality of its user’s movements, will be available for an additional five euros.
  • Privacy activists are protesting this surcharge.

Olivier LEVARD

Translated by Angus B. GRIEVE-SMITH

“Why pay more to take advantage of a fundamental right?” demands the organization Privacy International. A new version of the Navigo card that will allow public transit passengers in the Ile-de-France region to travel anonymously starting September first will cost its users five euros more, according to a source close to the agency. The reason given is that unlike with the classic Navigo card, the STIF (the public company charged with organizing public transports in the Ile-de-France) will not be required to pay the card’s distribution costs. Dubbed the “Passe découverte” or “Discovery card,” this contactless computerized card will not contain any of the traveler’s personal information, because the validation will not be connected to an identification number. (See sidebar.)

When contacted by, a representative of the privacy defense organization Privacy International was not ready to cheer. “It’s taken us six years to get this. This is not a victory. It’s a natural, normal step to take.” He was particularly stunned by the surcharge connected with the choice of pass. “Citizens are being forced to make a financial choice in order to exercise a fundamental right!” (more…)