Thursday, January 27

ID Cards

286­­° 10' NET

ID-card phobia. This is something I have seen on some pages and I have some difficulties to understand it.

Here in The Netherlands, starting from 1.1.2005, it is mandatory to carry some kind of identification paper with you all the time. It can be a passport, driving licence or the actual ID-card.

I heard some comments against it over here, but not very many. I personally don't have anything against carrying my driving licence with me, I do that all the time anyway.

What I don't get is how in some countries from around the world an id-card or social security number or such can be seen as a thing from the devil himself. At least that's how it sounds like people are thinking. It is the tool for Big Brother and so on and so forth.

Maybe I don't get it because I have been filed in archives and databases for all my life. In Finland you get your ID as you are born and you are stuck with it until you die. Here under is example of social insurance card from KELA. That number in the middle is the id-number.
From that number people see straight out your birthdate and your gender.
This woman was born in 14. March 1975. If she was born after 1999 the "-" sign would be "A".
And if I remember right, the second last number tells you what gender you are supposed to be. Pairs for gals and odds for guys.

All the state institutions and offices have their (regulated) access to the database and it's also crosslinked to other databases so basically everything you do which concerns giving out your ID is registered.

Sounds scary!!

Well, it's really not. It identifies you and follows you through everything you do which is connected to government backed/linked activities. That means healthcare, school, military service, criminal records, driving licences and so on. That's why everyone has their social security number, later known as the personal identification number.

If it's something, it is very handy. I remember when I went to the employment office in a city and county other than my own, they had all my work history and what had been done by them right there on the computer. I didn't have to have any papers with me. Only my driving licence so that they could get my number out of it and also saw that I was who I said I was.

Also your taxation relies on your id number. They get information concerning your income. This makes it possible for you to get a pre filled tax form with all the figures in place, you just have to look it through, see that it matches and sign it and send back. I didn't have to manually fill in my tax form before I moved over here.

Now, all this doesn't mean that I support all forms of identification. For example if I have to start giving fingerprints to some database somewhere, that's too far in my opinion. Iris scan goes barely, that's a passive method, it's done once and there is a record of you going through the scanning point, but that's it. It can't be used for anything else than getting an input of your movement. Fingerprints can be copied which separates your id from you. Basically you are giving away a rubber stamp with your fingerprint on it....yeah, this is my paranoia.

Vector at Thursday, January 27, 2005

Comments 2


29 January, 2005 17:58 Blogger Lewis E. Moten III said...

Interesting. I have always been for the national ID card here in the states. The problem is that there are way too many systems that don't talk to each other. This in turn creates tons of paper work for people to send to other systems. On top of that, medical professions need to get your permission before they can send that kind of information. Privacy is a big thing here so it slows everyone down.

29 January, 2005 20:00 Blogger Vector said...

I see. Yes, that makes it a bit hard. Tons of paper work is always bad.

In Finland the law requires the doctors and hospitals to upkeep an accurate record of your health situation. The info doesn't float around for everybody to see in other hospitals for example, only in that hospital/health center where you have been going.

At your job health care you would have another record and if this is taken care by a private clinic and you change jobs, then I think you have to give permission to your old job health care clinic to release the files to your new job health care clinic.

Privacy is important in Finland too, there is a special department which is the watch dog for privacy and personal data. Link (in english):


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