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Universal Identification Number

the UIN
  (+2, -6)
(+2, -6)
  [vote for,
against]

I am tired of remembering so many different account numbers from various institutions, such as government, banks, telephone companies, schools, power companies, employers and the like.

I know that I have a name and in the past, names were useful as a means to identify folks. My name is still useful for my friends, neighbor and relatives. But these people compose only a small circle of closely connected persons.

The problem with a name is that the now numerical world uses computers; numbers appear to be more useful. A name acts now only as a verifier to an account number. It is now rare that an institution when contacted requests a name, rather it asks for an account number and then my name only verifies that I am the person calling with that account number. I suppose institutions use numbers for accounts because of the difficulty or perhaps technical impossibility of using names for accounts.

What I propose here is a Universal Identification Number: UIN, unique for every man woman and child in the entire world. The number would be easy to construct and would be the only number you would have to know throughout your entire life. Because the UIN is unique for each person, governments, schools, hospitals, doctors, financial institutions and every organization that uses numbered accounts would be able to adopt it thereby permitting everyone to simply call and tell the institution what their UIN is without the need to know the particular account number for that institution or even a name, the name becoming a rarely used term of endearment between friends, relatives and angry teachers.

The UIN is constructed by joining your birthday, YYYYMMDD, to the time you were born MMSS then to the latitude and longitude were born at, in degrees AAAAOOOO.

Thus, when you call the telephone or cable company or your bank about your account, you can simply identify yourself by your UIN and everyone will be happy. For example, you could say “Hello, this is 19591021024387443101, please connect me with your supervisor about my account” There would be no need to tell them who I am or anything else.

The UIN would reduce the amount of ID theft since no one but yourself would go through the trouble of trying to remember 20 numbers in series and then saying it without error to a stranger on the phone. Lastly, no one could lie about their age or where they were born to others since it would be easy to deconstruct the UIN into this information.

el dueno

el dueno, Dec 26 2008

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       how about using the exact time you were born, down to the femtosecond.
daseva, Dec 26 2008
  

       Do you really think you're the first to propose this?
Spacecoyote, Dec 26 2008
  

       What about the big brother aspect of it?
devnull, Dec 26 2008
  

       You'd still need your name in case you typed your 20-digit number wrong.
phundug, Dec 26 2008
  

       I'm going +. Perhaps this isn't quite the way to define the number (as per boysparks anno), but a single unique identifier would be very useful, should be possible to do, and shouldn't cause too many security problems. I don't see any problems with making them alphanumeric though - makes it much easier to remember. I'd go for something along the lines of first 5 letters of surname, 2 initials, date of birth, country code, two random letters to make each unique (e.g. methomi19810429ukpn) for me. I don't think computers struggle too much with letters these days, I wouldn't be surprised if conventional phone numbers disappear fairly soon anyhow.   

       Although it could take some time to get every organisation to agree on a format, and though el dueno is almost certainly not the first to come up with it, it certainly doesn't exist in any real sense yet.
MadnessInMyMethod, Dec 29 2008
  

       But _you_ belong to many different subsets. For example I could have a UIN that relates to my drivers license. Check. What about the electricity account that a co-hold with my wife. What number is that account assigned? What about my employer's (the company, not the person) bank account? What UIN does that use?   

       Gee, do you suppose that is why organisations issue customer account numbers as per the present method? Then they, through their own management methods, know who (or what) relates to each number that they issued.
Texticle, Dec 29 2008
  

       This is a horrible idea for identify theft. The bad guy only needs one number and he has access to everything of yours, ever. Someone else mentioned this is not original, also. But if you insist, then the number should not have any meaning. Birth dates and locations should not be used. The number should be random and meaningless, perhaps incremental so that it contains no information about the person to whom it is assigned, since there may be times when you would want to use the number without divulging birth dates or locations. It should not be an ID number's purpose to obstruct someone from lying about age.
tatterdemalion, Dec 29 2008
  
      
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