What’s your number?

Do you like being identified as a number?

Already, we have student numbers, employee numbers, insurance card numbers, driver’s license numbers and more. How about adding a national identification number to those?

The U.S. has a social security system in which everyone has a 9-digit number that functions as a de facto national identification number. Many countries do have a special ID number for citizens. Japan does not. Yet.

But, there has been talk about introducing such a national ID number, and according to this article, the system will go into effect in 2016. You can also find answers to related questions in this article, such as:

  • Will the number only be given to citizens, or also to long-term residents without Japanese citizenship?
  • What will the number be used for?
  • How many countries have such systems now?
  • What are some of the problems associated with the national ID number systems?

This article from Slate relates the problems that South Korea is having with its national ID number system. You can find answers to questions including:

  • How many people have had their ID number stolen?
  • Why are the numbers so easy to steal?
  • How long will it take, and how much money will it cost, to solve the problem?

Or how about a system that combines an ID number and biometrics, like this system in Sweden? We could use it for ID purposes and also to buy our morning coffee:

 

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