Monday, February 15, 2016

Enlightened about Mynumber -- マイナンバーについてひらめいた

I should be sleeping. I spent most of last week fighting off the flu, I've got important work tomorrow, and I should be trying for a soft landing.

I just got back from a very enlightening visit to the post office.

Last fall, we had been hearing rumors about the "My Number" personal (identifying) number campaign. Then I got a notice, a pamphlet, and some paper "proofs of provision" temporary ID cards from an organization claiming to be the "Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems".

I tried to scan through the pamphlet and it makes no sense:
Isn't it wonderful!
We are officially presenting you with your very own personal identifying number! It slices. It dices. It unifies all your paperwork!
This is apparently a Japanese version of that peculiar atrocity of modern US Federal Information Systems, the Social Security Number. (How many of us remember that the SSN wasn't supposed to be an ID number? The US SSN cards are deliberately designed to be lacking in ID features.) Or, rather, the Taxpayer Identification Number (which is aliased to the SSN, unless you object for religious reasons).

Nobody wanted this. The claimed benefits are already available through other means. Why did this suddenly happen?

My sister sent me a little Christmas present -- a money order for less than a hundred dollars. So I went to the post office to exchange it today. (Yes, I've been busy since Christmas.)

The Japanese Post Office is also a bank, you see. It makes it much easier to send money in a society where checks are not used by ordinary people. (I should blog about the reasons for that sometime.)

So the clerk at the post office tells me I need my Mynumber card to exchange the money order. (Serious personal information leakage potential here? Naw, of course we trust the post office personnel! Don't we?)

Need the ID card to cash the foreign currency money order.

In other words, I'm a terrorist. In Japan. For less than two hundred dollars last year, if you include my birthday.

No. That's not what this is. Mynumber is being foisted on Japan because Japan is third world.

Trump, Sanders, Clinton, ... what is that dance you are doing?

What relevance does it have to the real world?

I am not a terrorist, even if you seem bent on making things really hard for me.

Not all poor people who live outside the US are as strong willed as I.

People get mad when treated like dirt.

When will you quit fanning the flames of terrorism?