PopSci’s point and counterpoint articles on internet IDs brings up once again the concept of an international identification system that ties a person with a number. Would it be tied to our social security numbers? Our passports? Our banking? To my mind, this is just another bitcoin fiasco in the making, except now it’s not just one digital wallet or a bank, it’s my entire credentials – online or otherwise.
We want the protection benign government affords without the abuse corrupt government bestows. Unfortunately, abuse can happen at any level. An international id code will lead more to abuse of privacy than anything else. Marketers already abuse our IP address information, often skating on the edge of legal, moral and ethical values because the money involved is too tempting to do otherwise.
We can just barely address civil and criminal issues in the physical world. Are we really ready to internationalize legal/civil/criminal issues with something as abstract and nebulous as the internet? I don’t think we’re there yet.
Image credit: PopSci.com