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Re: National Identification Number URIs ( NIN URIs )

From: Tim Haynes <thaynes@openlinksw.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2010 16:17:32 +0000
Message-ID: <4B95231C.3010307@openlinksw.com>
To: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>
Nathan wrote:
> Hi Kinglsey, Aldo, all:
> Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>> Aldo Bucchi wrote:
>>> For example: http://dbpedia.org/nin/cl/14168212
>>> That would be me based on my Chilean NIN.
> aldo: are there any privacy concerns with doing this, i.e. is permission
> needed before using..?

I would have thought there were serious privacy concerns with any such system. 
Is one supposed to go waving around one's NI (national *insurance*) number 
(UK) or SSN (US)?

Additionally, not all countries have an actual national identifier per se; 
there is potential confusion to be sorted as to which parameter, if any, is 
relevant. (In the UK there's a choice of passport number, NI number or NHS 
number (of which one person may have several when they've moved regions).)

Perhaps the question is: what's the target audience? If this were in order to 
help the government implement some central database, then, politics aside, 
using linked-data plus a suitable auth mechanism would be quite high on my 
list of desirable implementations; if it's in order to allow me to state my 
unique identifier in my FOAF document for all the world to see, does it 
suffice just to add some nominal foaf:BigBrother attribute to the FOAF spec?

Relatedly, once the target audience is established, you want to maximize 
acceptance and take-up; think back 20yr to days when people wondered what 
"http://" was all about, followed by its disappearance when people talk about 
"websites", etc. I was thinking maybe CURIEs, or an analogous approach, would 
help: you need the mindset that people say "I'll just go to foo:$me" where foo 
is a meaningful prefix, $me is variable, and "go to" means the result can be 
transformed by popular software into a URI/URL/URN/webapp entry 
point/something to taste.

Tim Haynes
Product Development Consultant
OpenLink Software
Received on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 09:23:28 UTC

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