Social Insurance Numbers not every day ID
Once again I'm astounded by the number of businesses, departments and organizations that require Social Insurance Numbers so they can "track" their players or legally "identify" a party.
It's astounding really.
Go to the video store, and they want your SIN before giving you a movie. What's up with that?
Go to motor registration, attempt to get a photo I.D. for your underage child and guess what happens, you need a birth certificate and a SIN. No other I.D. will do. It has to be the government issued SIN.
Needless to say a child doesn't need a SIN until they're 18 and presumably in the work force.
On the off chance that people don't know what a SIN is, it was implemented to track people's income and how much they'd pay out in taxes. Essentially, only three people need your SIN: The government, your employer and you.
As well, a phone call to the Feds will find your cautioned about to whom you give your SIN. After all, this is an extraordinarily important piece of information. If someone has access to your SIN, anything can happen.
Not so long ago a resident of High Prairie found out just how real SIN theft is. When contacted by a police force regarding his purchases, through credit cards, of various stereo and other electronic equipment (all of which took place in central Canada) our resident was mystified. What are you talking about? He asked the police. I haven't been there in years and am completely in the dark. Unfortunately, resident wasn't in the dark for long.
Once he realized someone in central Canada managed to scoop his name and SIN, his credit rating was no longer his.
That's the reality of allowing others to have your SIN.
The question is, aside from all the abuse our SINs do take, why are more groups trying to access it?
In the wake of 9/11 the reality is scarier than anything we could have thought of. We, as Canadians and North Americans, are more aware of war, terror and its impacts.
As our federal and provincial governments move along to create security legislation-to protect our borders and keep us from harm-they're actually creating a new society for us. That society is no longer a free one.
Our own Charter of Rights allows us mobility. Yet, we can't have that mobility unless we carry photo identification to prove we are who we say we are.
It's become more than a headache.
In the wake of September 11, 2001, we've become a threat to ourselves. We've willingly put our freedom, as Canadians, on the line.
I can almost imagine a Checkpoint Charlie kind of scenario as you cross the Alberta/Saskatchewan border in the middle of Lloydminster. Stopping in the middle of the road to give your "papers" to the man inside the hut.
Sounds far fetched doesn't it? It isn't. Ask those living outside North America.
Guarding your personal privacy is not just something to do so your neighbours don't know what it is you're doing. It's a responsibility.
Guarding your SIN is part of that. Refusing to give it those who have no business with it is your responsibility. At first they'll tell you that without it you can't have a video, or driver's license. But it's important to remember your identity is yours. Giving it away to someone else isn't the smartest thing you can do.
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