Monday, May 15, 2017

Microstory 581: World Leaders Debate Universal Identity

Every sovereign nation in the world has some way to manage and track their citizenry. In the past, we’ve used ledgers, and other analog means, but now all of this information is kept in a central location. Some nations even share this information amongst each other, for ease of transportation. Others, however, do not. Travel between two countries can become problematic depending on the relationship between those two countries. Who hasn’t experienced a delay at the airport due to customs procedures. And it can get even more complicated if the traveler in question needs to first stop in a third country. One young man born and bred in Bellevue, Kansas believes that he has the solution to this problem, but it’s going to require a lot of cooperation between a lot of countries. “The variables are nearly incalculable for an endeavor like this. There are so many moving parts that no one person could accomplish this, which is why I need so much help. Unicards (working name) can help increase the efficiency of every nation, but it works best if everyone accepts it,” says Ikodo Murdoch, inventor of the new technology. Unicards would be a singular form of universal identity, with room for no competitor. Murdoch envisions a world where literally every person on the planet either carries one of these, or agrees on a subcutaneous implant. It would be used for identity verification, seamless purchasing transactions, and perhaps even tax purposes. Instead of carrying around credit cards, cash, and passports, one would need only this one thing. Murdoch believes that this would make everyday life much easier. Instead of worrying about having enough money, or whether a particular location accepts particular kind of card, everything would just be in one place. World leaders from seventy-three countries are currently debating such a program. Murdoch acknowledges that if only a fraction of countries agree to use the unicards, it might be worth it, but still hopes for growth beyond this. “It’s not an all or nothing thing,” Murdoch says, “but the technology serves the populace better if there’s only one. Now it doesn’t have to be my unicards, it could be something else. But I truly feel that this is the future. We must become one peoples...of one world. Most of our issues can be ultimately traced back to our own fragmentation.” The seventy-three countries that belong to the Wesmandian Alliance will be assembling in Iceland for the annual Northery Summit. The question of universal identity, in whatever form, is expected to be the primary topic of discussion.

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