Just remember, your social security number was never supposed to be used as an ID number either... ha ha ha haha!! And won't it be a hacker's delight to be able to access everything about you with one ID number!?
The Obama administration is developing a "universal Internet ID" program that would watch, track, monitor and potentially control your activity on the Internet. These "trusted identities" are being touted asa way to increase safety and security on the Internet and as a way to eliminate the need for dozens of different usernames and passwords. But is a universal Internet ID that is issued and controlled by the U.S. government really a good idea?Right now, Obama administration officials are trying to make it seem as non-threatening as possible. They are insisting that it will not be mandatory. They are insisting that it would be impossible for hackers to steal the universal Internet identities. They are insisting that none of our personal information will be gathered or used by federal agencies. But in light of how regularly the government has abused our liberties and freedoms in recent years in the name of "security", should we really believe what they are saying about this new universal Internet ID?
Perhaps to assuage concerns about "Big Brother", the Obama administration is proposing that the U.S. Commerce Department be the one to oversee these new universal Internet identities.
But how long do you think it would take for the Department of Homeland Security (along with several dozen other government agencies) to get involved in "administering" these "trusted identities"?
After Sept. 11, 2001, when different government agencies and representatives began floating the idea of a national identification card, privacy advocates were immediately uneasy. And now, nearly a decade later, when word spread that the Obama Administration is working on a system of trusted Internet identities for Americans, the privacy sector is up in arms again.
Schmidt was also quick to point out that the Internet identity credential will not serve as a national ID card. And to further assuage the concerns of privacy advocates, he notes that the program will not be overseen by any of the intelligence agencies. Instead, the Department of Commerce will have that responsibility.
I don't know about you, but those revelations don't do much to alleviate my concerns. First, the fact that there will be no "centralized database" of user information doesn't mean there can't be logs of what users do online and when. So the information may not be centralized, and it may not even be linked to a user's personally identifiable information. But we've seen before that "anonymized" data is not as anonymous as many would like to hope. Remember the AOL fiasco?
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.