Two-Factor Authentication is being made mandatory across most, if not all, mainstream platforms which requires the use of a mobile phone. This additional form of security is sold like that – to make your accounts more secure.

To make it easier for you to buy into it, the communications often describe how losing your passwords may make accessing your accounts more difficult.

However, we could consider the privacy implications of this form of security.

If you have not been made aware, it seems more and more platforms are requiring our phones to access our accounts. Be it banking, finances, business management, web hosts, and even mainstream news outlets – everything is being tied to your phone one way or another, with no means of escape.

This also means, of course, that access to these websites can be blocked because your phone is also used for mobile banking, which if the banks have blocked your account for politically motivated reasons, you can be certain these mainstream platforms will do the same. You can read our lengthy discussion of the "debanking" scandal here.

Mandatory mobile phone security is being pushed and forced on us, without any possibility of choice.

Just recently, the major open repository platform for code, GitHub, has made it mandatory to enable Two-Factor authentication or risk losing access to your account on the 6th October 2023. Microsoft also mandated this exact thing on their Office 365 services for businesses earlier this year.

When being forced to turn on 2FA, mainstream organisations are recommending QR codes over SMS verification.

QR codes are easy to scan and more convenient, most people say. But perhaps people don't know what is hiding within QR codes. As QR codes trigger actions on a phone, it is possible to trace the scans of QR codes anywhere. In a purely electronic world where QR codes become commonplace, it is easy to know who is scanning a QR code, where, when and what.

With everything becoming QR codes, you cannot deny that something is up with this technology. Why is it so popular with businesses?

Despite the convenience, it is possible for a business to collect data from the phone that scans the QR code, such as the IP address of the phone. Despite the blatant contradictions of the previously linked article, it is clearly possible to track people's movements and whereabouts with QR codes, assuming the user is always using their phone to scan QR codes.

But what gives? Why is this a potential issue?

Considering the possibility of electronic currencies taking over the fiat currencies, the world could easily be run on a purely electronic basis. What this means is the requirement to use your phone everywhere you go. Now consider how one government may use the QR code technology to mandate businesses collecting data relating to the scanner (i.e., your phone) for law enforcement (see China). Now consider the two together.

Just as in China during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is entirely plausible for any government to use QR code technology, including all that data associated with your phone, to prevent you accessing your favourite websites, not least prevent you from moving around if you haven't complied with the law. In a not too distant future, it is not just possible, but also a highly effective weapon for mass control, to enforce QR code scanning as the means for all types of movement, including online.

If we do not push back against the almost forced requirement to use QR codes, our freedom will be diminished and there will no longer be access to anything, even if you hold an opinion that everybody else is thinking. But you better watch what you say, because your phone won't let your purchase luxury items otherwise.