Monday, January 14, 2008

Identified by Government

I still can't decide whether "disgust" or "boisterous" laughter is the proper response to this whole madness about "the national id" system. It seems in every administration this thing pops up. Well, at least as far back as i can remember, anyway (during Ramos' years).

In both comment section of Alleba Politics and Philippine Commentary i made my views quite clear with regard to this whole hoopla about national id system.  Here's the extended edition. 

The premise of a national id system isn't without basis. In this age when the phone is an ipod is a computer, consolidation is the name of the game. Having Driver's licenses, passports, social security information consolidated into one ID is very, very tempting.  In a perfect world, it would be great to have.

But this isn't a perfect world. 

Conspiracy theorists can point out that this is just one step towards a police state. Government having all there is to know about you. Seriously? if government was half as smart or half as hard working coming out with these ideas, they'd already know they have all there is to know about their people locked in discrete databases and all they need isn't legislation or permission. All they need is time, money and lots of computer savvy to mine that information and if done under the radar, no flack from the press as this whole hoopla about national id seems to be getting.  All those lobbyists can probably make more money doing that than having such a huge target such a national id system is getting. 

Seriously. This police state crap is beside the point. 

All we need is to look at history to tell us, this spells "disaster". That an initiative like this--- sounding very logically on paper can not stand the real world and those who do believe it will work needs to get out more. We delude ourselves into thinking it will work. Just look at all those stories about banks losing information.  All it takes is one lost Laptop.  and "Boom!" the bad guys already have everything they need to know about you. 

Google is one the world's best miner of information. it gets picked on for handling all that user information, can you seriously say that any government--- Philippine, American or whatnut is smart enough, is savvy enough, is capable enough to protect, mine and manage every single thing there is to know about their citizen? Can government honestly say it has the technology, the expertise, to do this? 


In a country where its capital city has potholes everywhere, in a nation where its whether bureau can't tell if it is sunny or not--- not because the people behind the scenes aren't smart enough but because they don't have the proper tool to do their job right, can Government honestly tell the people it can manage 80 Million and more people's private information? 

Can every Filipino absolutely trust its government to be savvy, to be smart, to have the resources to protect and mine all that information? (I'm not even going to ask if they're going to use that information wisely).

I wouldn't go far as to say that Government has an insidious agenda behind this whole thing because if you really think about it, mining all that information they already have is so much more under the radar than all the press this whole national id thing is getting.  Is this another way for some lobbyist to make money? I wouldn't know. I certainly hope not. Because if they are, shouldn't they work on something that would actually help move this country forward like better infrastructure for our people?

In an Age of Information, we get yet another example how smart, how capable our government is. And people wonder why everyone wants to get out the country. To the proponents of this initiative, all I can do is appeal to your patriotism. Being in power is your shot to make a difference, could just please do something for the people