Miss Unique ID

Email conversation with student last weekend…

Me: quoting the Privacy Act Principle 12 Unique identifiers – such as IRD numbers, bank customer numbers, driver/s licence and passport numbers – must not be assigned to individuals unless this is necessary for the organisation concerned to carry out its functions efficiently. The identifiers must be truly unique to each individual (except in some tax related circumstances), and the identity of individuals must be clearly established. No one is required to disclose their unique identifier unless it is for, or related to, one of the purposes for which the identifier was assigned.The Government is not allowed to give people one personal number to use in all their dealings with government agencies.

Me: ie the video shop or school cannot use IRD numbers to uniquely identify clients or parents or indeed student

Miss Unique ID: That makes a lot more sense. I still don’t quite see why there has to be a law against it but I suppose it relates very strongly to privacy issues – perfect for my portfolio! Thank you both for your help!

Me : It is actually to give the public confidence that government cannot share personal data with other government agencies aka big brother 1984 fears.

Miss Unique ID: But it would be so efficient!

Me: And that is the usual argument. It would be super efficient to implant a chip with your id number at birth.

Miss Unique ID: Good point, it is a very slippery slope.

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