In Singapore, I’ve gotten used to big brother watching over my shoulder. In most cases, I don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of privacy in order not to compromise on security. I guess I’m not that European in that sense. In most of those cases it just make sense. And don’t get me wrong, I would object if a country starts doing stupid stuff, and a police state as the US is definitely what I’d be looking forward to. The Singaporean way is actually still quite alright.
"As part of an ongoing and holistic security review by the Government to boost Singapore’s security, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in collaboration with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), have worked together with mobile service providers on a practical regulatory regime over prepaid SIM cards". Good deal, terrorists will also need to register their SIM card and can’t just easily detonate bombs through the GSM anymore (there are a hell lot of other possibilities, but that’s besides the point).
So what’s my problem? The thing is that every employee of those companies that you need to register your details with has complete insight in that information. Every employee at Singtel can look at all my details at Singtel. Every employee at Singapore Power can look at all my details. Every employee at the bank can look at all my details.
Actually, this wouldn’t be such a big problem, except that the information that these people have insight in is just to sensitive, especially when it comes to e.g. your IC number, which to my irritation is asked all the time for the most irrelevant matters. And IC number is a very important number that should be kept as safe as a credit card number. If you’re making a phone call to a bank, usually your account number, IC number and date of birth is sufficient information to get access to your account. So, guess what combination of personal information all these employees of Sintel, Singapore Power and banks have in their hands… Scary?
With this I would actually like to plead for the following:
Dear IDA, if you make detailed registration duties compulsory, please also make detailed corporate privacy security compulsory for those corporations that collect this information.
» IDA – Regulatory Controls on Prepaid SIM Cards