Biohacker Meow-Ludo has Opal conviction overturned

Biohacker Meow-Ludo has Opal conviction overturned
Photo by Phillip Terry Graham via Wikimedia Commons

Opal is a well-known system that allows people to travel on the NSW train services with ease. The card can be easily topped up and acts like an EFTPOS way wave enabling users to tap on and off from their destinations. The rules and terms of using the card, however, are hidden away sometimes, and a lot of people don’t realise what they agree to when using the card.

One such person was none other than, Meow-Ludo Disco-Gamma Meow-Meow and before you ask yes, that is, in fact, his legal name. Meow had no idea of the terms of the card and accidentally broke them without thinking. How? Well, he decided to take out the NFC chip (that part that the system uses from the card that stores information) and implanted it in his body.

It all sounds a bit odd, however there is a method behind the madness. Meow decided that he wanted to cut his effort and time taken looking for his card, to do this he implanted the chips in his body. It meant that when travelling all he had to do was swipe his hand as if it was an opal card and it would work the same. This, however, became an issue because he had broken the terms of use to do with the card.

The card itself was the property of the Sydney Trains company, and by tampering with it, he had broken the terms of use as you aren’t supposed to manipulate the card in any way. Meow was found on a train using the implant and fined for not paying for his train ride. Meow entered court hoping to fight the charges however the terms were unambiguous on the use, and initially, the court found in favour of Transport NSW.

Meow, however, went back and appealed his case as he did pay it was just on a device that was technically not allowed. With the return to court, the verdict ended up being that Meow had not done what he did to avoid fines and came away without having to pay any penalties other than court costs. The court did state though that he had violated the terms of use and Meow agreed that he wouldn’t use the implant again.

The court case has shown that consumers and business need to be more aware of the term when it comes to using things bought. Some companies even forget their terms of service and fall in a hole when confronting situations like this.