BTC – What is a national identification number (NIN)? Why would it be useful or what purpose would it serve? Who gets a number? How would it affect public life?
Enumerated identity and its uses are typically to manage populaces en masse.
A national identification number or National Identity Card number is used by the governments of many countries as a means of tracking their citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purposes of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other governmentally-related functions. Sometimes, the number will appear on an identity card issued by a country.
The ways in which such a system is implemented is dependent on the country, but in most cases, a citizen is issued a number at birth or when they reach a legal age (typically the age of 18). Non-citizens are issued such numbers when they enter the country.
Many countries issued such numbers ostensibly for a singular purpose, but over time, they become a de facto national identification number. For example, the United States originally developed its Social Security Number system as a means of disbursing Social Security benefits. However, due to functionality creep, the number has become utilized for other purposes to the point where it is almost essential to have one in order to, among other things, open a bank account, obtain acredit card, or drive a car.
As technology advances there are always more systems to categorize persons based on wants, needs, likes, and dislikes. Information is useful for many objectives; but in the context of power it can be abused. Information (or intelligence) abuses may range from common blackmail to surveillance abuse. Information about an individual can be conveniently reduced to an enumerated identity. This gives data value and longevity because it may prove something about us. However, it may be private information or information we do not want known at large.
The White House is giving the American public roughly 3 weeks to examine the National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace or NSTIC, an new system which would produce a number for every American online user. The American public bears the burden of what happens to their identity property online. For example, if you are checking on a malady from Bora Bora, Big Government Computers could feasibly track or capture that information and trace it back to you. Why would they even care?
Well… it’s not personal at first. As we have discovered over the last several years, providing surveillance technology services is an enormous corporate industry between the public and private sectors. There is an economic incentive to track us. Businesses will pay for analysis of who you are and why you will or won’t buy their stuff. Government intelligence agencies hire contractors who can get the same information for their purposes. Google has made a killing from selling search generated information which has the ability to identify any user straight down to their IP addresses.