Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Age-only ID

Because it's all they need to know.
  (+11, -2)(+11, -2)
(+11, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

I am unfortunate enough to live in a country with absurd alcohol-related laws - only those over the age of 21 are allowed to buy alcohol. At all. This is enforced by requiring waiters and grocery store clerks (and liquor store clerks) to ask for photo ID from anyone attempting to buy alcohol who looks as if they might, by the remotest stretch of the imagination, be under the age of 21. Some stores ask everyone, including doddering grandmas.

This bothers me, but I am resigned to it. However, what bother me more (being a bit of a privacy fanatic) is that proving one's age involves admitting one's name and address, which are imprinted on the driver's liscence (the only form of photo ID most people here carry habitually). If the waiter/clerk just wants to look at it, it's possible to keep one's thumb over the name and address; if they are paranoid enough to scan the thing, it's impossible.

I'd like to see governments issue an alternate form of photo ID that only displays three things: your photo, date of birth, and a meaningless serial number. By showing someone this, you could prove that you were old enough to legally buy alcohol (or cigarettes, or get the senior discount) without telling them anything else about yourself. The serial number could be used to verify that the card wasn't a fake.

Now give me my damn beer, already. I'm paying cash.

gisho, Apr 22 2010

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       [gisho], what's really important to me at this moment is...what kind of beer?
normzone, Apr 22 2010
  

       // Your proposal is exactly what the government doesn't want //   

       ... and is therefore an unanswerable reason for doing it immediately. [+]
8th of 7, Apr 22 2010
  

       What about tatooing your birthday behind your ear? Just one piece of data.
Mustardface, Apr 22 2010
  

       How about at birth every baby is tattooed with a radioactive isotope with a measurable half-life, that way you could just be scanned to measure your age and not even need ID.
simonj, Apr 22 2010
  

       Cut them in half and count the rings ?
8th of 7, Apr 23 2010
  

       Remove that law — that’s what needs fixing.
Ian Tindale, Apr 23 2010
  

       How about a microchip card with your fingerprint data, and without anything else on it?
Inyuki, Apr 23 2010
  
      
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