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Wong Keen Hing aka Justin

When was the last time you tried recalling something that you never remembered?

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Save the Animals
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
One number per identity

Our proud little country of Malaysia is finally taking a step towards mobile number portability for its wirelessly wired citizens. View the full article here. Such a development would be very much welcome in this land where its all about convenience and stinge. Yes, this piece of news will delight many, including myself even though I do not plan to switch numbers. But I wonder, what's in it for the government itself? If its nothing much , then I guess I can finally commend the parliament-dwellers for a wise decision.

Looks like we're not the first in this world to implement this feature (why am I not surprised). This is one addition to the pieces that makes up the great endless puzzle that is the social implications of technology. Knowing one's number means being capable to contact that person from anywhere at anytime, a leap from the traditional telephone, which is a leap from postal services. Now that you never have to change your mobile number, it has become very much more associated to your very identity. Of course, to a certain extent it already was but think of how far it will bring itself.

I imagine that fifteen years ago the idea of a number being this attached to a person's name was unfathomable. In the same way, how elaborate communication will become in the future is wow-worthy. Exactly how it will turn out I do not know; but think of the possibilities. How much a part of your identity a number will become? Will people keep that very number for an entire lifetime? Will that number be placed next to your name instead of under your name? Will it replace your name?

If there will come a time when one is stuck with a number for good, wouldn't that number be used in permanent records? As a result, that number is likely to be integrated into other systems such as banks, am I right? When this kind of identity-association gains enough credibility, it is plausible that a massive compilation of personal profiles will be created and made available for public access. Seeing that the internet grows in significance by the year, this concept of an accessible global identity database might just be possible. Connecting with other people has been taken to the next level.

Of course, everything will be perfect if it weren't for crime and corruption; here meaning the improper use of life's technological wonders. Spam, identity theft, viruses, pornography, privacy invasions and fraud, for example. Everytime a new kind of medium is invented, somebody is bound to misuse it; SMS spam had just begun. Prepare yourself to protect your identity, the darkside of technology looms.

Another piece of Justin Wong's mind at 9/07/2005 09:43:00 PM


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