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Privacy

Japan IDs All Its Citizens 382

Edis Krad writes "While RealID in the US is a threat whose implementation is a ways in the future, the Japanese long ago implemented something similar; and there has been very little complaint raised about it. The Juki Net (Residents Registration Network — link in Japanese) has been silently developing since 1992. The system involves an 11-digit unique number to identify every citizen in Japan, and the data stored against that ID covers name, address, date of birth, and gender. Many Japanese citizens seem to be oblivious that such a government-run network exists. Juki Net had a spotlight shone on it recently because a number of citizens around the country sued against it, citing concerns of information misuse or leakage. And while an Osaka court ruled against the system, the Japanese Supreme Court has just ruled it is not unconstitutional, on the grounds that the data will be used in a bona-fide manner and there's no risk of leakage. While there is a longstanding registration system for us foreigners in Japan, what astonishes me is how the government can secretly implement such a system for its citizens, and how little concern the media and Japanese citizens in general display about the privacy implications."

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