Rewrites of Jottings: IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION
Not long after birth, the newborn is drawn into a paper trail of information. Simple data at first, parents and birth data. Then as the baby grows through childhood, the information grows with it, now including schools, siblings, and abode. The demands for information keep pace with the child into adulthood and citizenship: voter’s data, driver’s licenses, permits, school records, occupation constituting the “biographical data” (biodata), the must for obtaining employment.
Translating these broad principles into specific and uniform guidelines will not be easy. A proper balance must be found between limiting access to information to fulfill the needs of society on the other.
The imperative need for identification is manifested in many forms. Banks assign to each customer a unique account number for passbooks, checkbooks and special accounts, and a PIN (personal identification number) on ATM cards. The National Statistics office, not to be outdone, issues also a PIN (population identification number) automatically assigned to individuals born after a specified date in 1980’s. And much earlier in the I.D. game, taxmen in the BIR deal with taxpayers using a TIN.
So, must a citizen bear all these TINs, PINs, QINs and ZINs which all cost money, or should these be simplified into one national NIN?