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> If you look young, how can you even buy alcohol or cigarettes (in my countries case even energy drinks) or get in a club?

It is possible to go your entire life without ever doing any of those things, or having any desire to. And as a general rule, it's the people who are of legal age who least care to do them. Also, some countries don't have age restrictions on such things to begin with (or don't enforce them at all).

> post office when receiving package

Who goes to the post office to receive a package? They come to you, and are then satisfied by the fact that they delivered the package to the address on the label.

> getting drivers licence

This a major reason why this is pointless. If you're going to have an ID, how do you identify yourself to get the ID? It's fully circular. You can't prove who you are unless you can already prove who you are, in which case you already have an ID.

In the US a large percentage of the population don't have passports. When you get a driver's license, they nominally ask you for some other ID, most of which (e.g. birth certificates or company/school IDs they have no way to authenticate) are trivially forged and useless at proving the person is who they say. Because it has to be that way -- you can't make having an ID a condition of getting an ID.

The whole idea is silly. Identity is context. If you create an email address with Google, you set a password. Then Google knows you're the person that email address belongs to because you're the one with the password. Your government "identity" has nothing to do with it, nor should it.

> opening bank account

The only reason banks care about this is that the government requires them to. Otherwise they would be completely satisfied to give you a numbered account with no person's name attached and simply put a hold on your deposits until after they've cleared, as they do for most anyone regardless.

> getting loans etc.

To get a loan what they care about is whether you're creditworthy, not what your name is. Prove that you have a job and a history of paying back debts, or post some collateral, that's what they want.

One system by which they automate this is to have credit reporting agencies that aggregate this information and associate it with your name, but there is no inherent reason it has to be done that way -- and some good reasons not to. See Equifax data breach.




> It is possible to go your entire life without ever doing any of those things, or having any desire to. And as a general rule, it's the people who are of legal age who least care to do them. Also, some countries don't have age restrictions on such things to begin with (or don't enforce them at all).

Yes it is possible but you are describing outliers. Which first world country doesn't have age restrictions on alcohol or tobacco?

> Who goes to the post office to receive a package? They come to you, and are then satisfied by the fact that they delivered the package to the address on the label.

Envelopes and small packages (which fit) are left in mail box. In order to get everything else you have to go to your post office. Courier services deliver package to you personally and they don't leave it at your doorstep so anyone can steal it.

> This a major reason why this is pointless. If you're going to have an ID, how do you identify yourself to get the ID? It's fully circular. You can't prove who you are unless you can already prove who you are, in which case you already have an ID.

I don't really know how it is done today but in theory you could prove it by taking DNA/fingerprints at birth and registering accordingly.

> The only reason banks care about this is that the government requires them to. Otherwise they would be completely satisfied to give you a numbered account with no person's name attached and simply put a hold on your deposits until after they've cleared, as they do for most anyone regardless.

We are talking about reality not a situation where government regulations doesn't exist so there is no way of having a bank account if you don't have some sort of ID.

> To get a loan what they care about is whether you're creditworthy, not what your name is. Prove that you have a job and a history of paying back debts, or post some collateral, that's what they want.

This is just plain wrong, they care about the identity in case you stop paying so they can go after you.

P.S. You also need ID to own property, companies etc. I can't deny that if you are living in the middle of woods off grid you might get by without an ID but if you are an average person you will need an ID eventually.


> Yes it is possible but you are describing outliers. Which first world country doesn't have age restrictions on alcohol or tobacco?

In many parts of the US the restrictions are not actually enforced, or you can prove your age using non-government-issued identification.

I also dispute your assertion that people who don't drink or smoke are outliers. The majority of people don't smoke and a large minority don't drink. In some major cultures and religions drinking is outright prohibited.

> Envelopes and small packages (which fit) are left in mail box. In order to get everything else you have to go to your post office. Courier services deliver package to you personally and they don't leave it at your doorstep so anyone can steal it.

In the US they leave it at your doorstep so anyone can steal it, because in practice hardly anybody actually steals it. Who is going to risk federal prison or getting shot by the homeowner over a mystery box which is probably just a $25 bulk pack of shampoo?

> I don't really know how it is done today but in theory you could prove it by taking DNA/fingerprints at birth and registering accordingly.

This doesn't work for anyone who is already an adult, and isn't already being done for newborns so won't work for them either, which means you've got more than a hundred years before something like that could be used without having living people it doesn't work for. It also fails permanently for anyone born and raised in another country.

On top of that, it still isn't solving the unsolved problem, which is identity theft. You can't use DNA or fingerprints over the internet (they're trivially forged if you control the reader), so they're just going to issue you a card or a PIN or some other thing you can use and then someone can steal/hack/forge it and impersonate you. Being able to prove your DNA doesn't disprove that you're the person who used your card+PIN to buy $50,000 in already-provided goods and services, or pay for an email account used to send spam etc.

> We are talking about reality not a situation where government regulations doesn't exist so there is no way of having a bank account if you don't have some sort of ID.

We don't have mandatory national ID cards either. If the proposal is to make a policy change to improve things, let it be the one that doesn't double down on a bad idea.

Also, around a quarter of Americans and half of people in India don't actually have a bank account, largely because they don't have any money to put in it and can't afford the fees that come with not having a minimum balance. So they get paid in cash, or something they immediately convert to cash, and pay for everything with that.

> This is just plain wrong, they care about the identity in case you stop paying so they can go after you.

That is why they require collateral. If you take out a mortgage they put a lien on the house. If you don't pay, they take the house. If you're on a beach in Argentina with a million dollars in cash in a briefcase, what does the bank care as long as the house sells for more than they're owed?

> P.S. You also need ID to own property, companies etc.

There are millions of people who don't own real property or companies, or even cars.

And even then, it doesn't require a national ID -- they all exist without it. They even predate modern identification. Because all of those things are local. If you want to transfer property, you go to a notary. The notary will want to know who you are, but that doesn't mean national ID. They could just take a picture of you and keep it for their records, or accept a non-government ID or an oath from a person known in the community that you are who you say you are.

Centralized identification is at the same time unnecessary and actively harmful.


> In the US they leave it at your doorstep so anyone can steal it, because in practice hardly anybody actually steals it. Who is going to risk federal prison or getting shot by the homeowner over a mystery box which is probably just a $25 bulk pack of shampoo?

Nearly 1/3 of of people in USA have experienced package theft and it is only a federal crime if you steal USPS packages not Fedex/DHL/UPS etc.

> That is why they require collateral. If you take out a mortgage they put a lien on the house. If you don't pay, they take the house. If you're on a beach in Argentina with a million dollars in cash in a briefcase, what does the bank care as long as the house sells for more than they're owed?

I can get a personal loan without any kind of collateral as long as i have X income. Credit cards doesn't have collateral as well.

Honestly, i feel that we live in different worlds - i cannot fathom not having an official ID as there are occasions where i must have it (voting, travel, banking as well as government e-services where you can use bank login or your ID card certificate to identify yourself). There isn't a lot of press or reports from Personal Data Watchdog about somebody doing monetary damage from using other people data, in fact our ID numbers (like SSN) in some cases are public knowledge. I am not saying that our system can't be abused but right now i feel like it works just fine and i wouldn't want it any other way.


> Nearly 1/3 of of people in USA have experienced package theft and it is only a federal crime if you steal USPS packages not Fedex/DHL/UPS etc.

That statistic is from a survey done by Comcast as a precursor to trying to sell you a home security system. That is not a reliable source.

And stealing a non-USPS package is still a state crime, so the main difference is whose jail you sit in. Unless you manage to steal something which is actually worth a lot of money, or is involved in interstate commerce etc., in which case welcome back to federal prison.

> I can get a personal loan without any kind of collateral as long as i have X income. Credit cards doesn't have collateral as well.

These are small loans, in which case the collateral is your job. They verify where you work, so if you don't pay they know where to find you. The only way to avoid them finding you is to quit your job, which they don't expect to be worth it for you to do over such a modest amount of money. Notice that the interest rates on those kinds of loans are dramatically higher -- because of the risk that they're wrong. If it was really your identity doing most of the work you would expect the interest rates to be much closer to those for loans with more substantial collateral.

> There isn't a lot of press or reports from Personal Data Watchdog about somebody doing monetary damage from using other people data

According to DOJ statistics, more than 17 million people in the US are victims of identity theft per year.

> Honestly, i feel that we live in different worlds - i cannot fathom not having an official ID as there are occasions where i must have it (voting, travel, banking as well as government e-services where you can use bank login or your ID card certificate to identify yourself).

You feel that way because you live in a place where having an official ID is required to do everything. That isn't a law of nature, it's just a law of the place you live. It's completely reasonable to do things a different way.




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