I am an individual, not just a number.

Increasingly the powers that be are trying to reduce me to a set of numbers so they can neatly stick me into a database somewhere.  Already they have my PPS [or Personal Public Service] number which has to be quoted when doing any business with one of their departments.  They have allocated a number to my home so that's in a database somewhere.

Their latest gimmick is to allocate me a health number [or Individual Health Identifier] as they like to call it.

I gather the intention is to have a single database where everyone's health is recorded so it doesn't matter where I am, they can access my health details.  They can go fuck themselves.  My health is my business and I don't want my details available to any hacker who wants to access them.

Now the Irish Cancer Society want my IHI details to include whether I am a smoker or not.  Now they can really go and fuck themselves sideways and in reverse on that one.  It is none of their fucking business.

There are several questions raised here.

Apart from it being none of their business, I presume [like in most databases] there is a simple yes or no answer.  There is no distinction between pipe, cigar or cigarette smokers.  There is no distinction between the bloke who has one fag at the weekend and the bloke who's on an eighty a day habit.  As far as the ICS are concerned we are all filthy smokers and deserve to die horribly.

And what use is this information apart from the ICS being able to gather statistics?  There is no medical condition that is unique to smokers so there is no point to the information.  If anything it would work to the detriment of non-smokers as the surgeon will probably then discount cancers [and heart disease and all the other glories supposedly associated with smoking] and it will be bottom of the list of probable ailments.

They don't want information on whether the person lives with a smoker, walks past pubs or visits the Phoenix Park of a Sunday where they could be exposed to second hand smoke, which we all know is lethal at fifty paces?  Or are they admitting that it couldn't be a significant factor?

They even want to collect information on my diet.  How the fuck do they do that?  Will the database contain recipes for each individual meal I cook?  How do they account for a spontaneous decision to order a takeaway or even a decision to skip dinner altogether?  Or we all just going to be classed as carnivorous, omnivorous or herbivore?

I'm surprised they aren't interested in my drinking habits.  That's a pity as I would have claimed two pints of Methylated Spirits a day.  That would give them something to think about?

They want to know my socio-economic status?  Who said snobbery and the class system is dead?  They already know my economic status from their PPS database so presumably they want to know my social status?  What the fuck is that?  "Well respected"?  "Local pariah"?  "Lovable rogue"?  And what the fuck has my socio-economic status got to do with my health anyway?  If I am classed as "One of the Lower Orders" am I more likely to eat pizzas, burgers or chips?

I suppose they'll want my DNA next.

They can fuck off on that one too.

Interfering nosey cunts.

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My number is up — 10 Comments

  1. Way too many numbers if you ask me. Over here for instance, we just have one–the infamous "Social Security Number. Plus, in most cases, the driver's license number and the registration number(s) of your vehicle(s). But it's the SSN that carries you through life or rather, it carries you–either one.

    And it's not as nosey about an individual's particulars as it seems as compared to your description of your numbers. And how are the "powers-that-be" supposed to correlate all these damn numbers in the end anyway?

    Knowing governments as I do I can well imagine the fracas that will occur when they find out that all their numbers won't speak to one another. Then they will probably have to call in some lowest bidder "software experts" to come in with hammers, tongs and thumbscrews to make all those horrible reticent numbers work with each other thereby crashing the entire system taking those horrible numbers (and all their data of course) with them.

    The government will then pass all the cost of this hullabaloo onto the you folks, of course.

    Either way you, GD, will still remain a well respected, smokin', local pariah and lovable rogue I'm sure. Thank heavens there's at least one steady state in all this.

    • God knows why they want a messy system like this.  Possibly they want to discover whether people who have worked in more than six jobs are prone to Acne or something?  Out Gubmint isn't exactly famous for its database security either.  Stuff is constantly falling into the wrong hands.

      When they want to tie all the databases together they will undoubtedly "outsource" to the cheapest bidder who will probably be some intern on job experience who hasn't the faintest idea how to secure a server.  He'll probably try to bring his work home and will leave the entire database on a disk on the bus.

      Not sure if I'm that steady these days….

  2. Sweden in the front even here. We invented a system called "personnummer" and that is a number you get as soon as you see your first light, when you are born. It means personal number. It works like this (fiction number):

    540328-3214: 54 is 1954, 03 is March, 28 is the day in March; 321 points out where in the country you are born and 1 in that number shows if you are a male or female (odd number=male, even female); the last digit is a  control digit to ensoure that it’s rightly done.

    You can not do a thing without to give this number to everyone. You can not go to the bank, not buy anything of value, not go to the hospital, not renting a car and so on. You can get a fag, a newspaper, milk and that kind of things. 

    DNA they take in Sweden when you are born. If you do not want that YOU have to say you don’t want them to do so.

    Wlecome to the Swedish way of living!





    • Some twat programmer obviously assigned a two byte number for Age on the assumption that no one could possibly ever be older than 99.  That's what happens when you rely on computers!

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