Thursday, September 21, 2006

Let's boycott Diebold ATMs!

By now, readers of this blog should be familiar with the multitudinous problems and insecurities of Diebold electronic voting machines, with Diebold's lame defenses of the same, and with the tepid response to these problems by the politicians running the voting machines, such as the one quoted in this Washington Post article
"We know the equipment works because it's been qualified to federal standards," said Kevin J. Kennedy, executive director of the Wisconsin State Elections Board and president of the National Association of State Election Directors.
It's time for a boycott. But boycotting elections themselves is counter-productive, and sidestepping the machines (e.g., voting by absentee ballot) has its own problems.

However, Diebold has a much bigger and more profitable business than voting machines: Automated teller machines (ATMs). They have a big chunk of the market, but not a monopoly. So, next time you are about to get cash, look at the brand name on the ATM, and if it's Diebold, look for another machine.

You've got to hit them in the pocketbook to make them notice.

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4 Comments:

Comment by Blogger rog.:

Actually, it may be easier to hit them in the pocketbook if they hold any insurance on the security of their ATM devices. Consider: http://blog.wired.com/27BStroke6/index.blog?entry_id=1560245

9:39 PM  
Comment by Blogger wrongwayhome:

In California and elsewhere Bank of America has deployed the new Diebold Opteva ATMs. Apart from a Bank of America customer suffering the indignity of having to use a machine on which the scandal-plagued logo of Diebold is emblazoned in huge letters -- somewhat analogous to having to endure WalMart commercials on PBS -- the menu sequences have been apparently designed to make it as difficult as possible to obtain a paper transaction receipt. At first I thought I was just unfamiliar with the new menu sequences and hitting the wrong keys consistently, but no, even when you select "yes" to the question of "do you want a receipt", this ATM does not give it to you. You have to start a new transaction and ask for your account balance after the fact. The only reason I use Bank of America is because of the breadth of its ATM network. At least their previous generation of less sophisticated machines made by Interbold (a consortium of IBM and Diebold) didn't allow for confusing new menu sequences, AND displayed their manufacturer's logo discretly in a lower corner. I suggest that Bank of America immediately address the software deficiency involving receipts not printed when requested, and in the future deploy ATMs built by companies other than Diebold (i.e. NCR or Siemens/Nixdorf/IBM).

1:57 PM  
Comment by Blogger A progressive:

Receipt? Why would you even need a receipt?
If you had a receipt, it would make it too easy to figure out
you have overdrawn your account and will start incurreing
$6/day in overdraft fees.

You can trust the bank, right?

Most retailers have switched to the 'fade to black'
style thermal paper receipts anyway.

The bank's computer also helpfully figures out the account
balance for you eventually.

3:11 AM  
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous:

No one has yet mentioned that these machines distribute cash about as well as they count votes. My local is out of order about 75% of the time, in my experience. I am STRONGLY considering quitting B of A after being a customer for 25 years for this reason alone.

10:11 AM  

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