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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

All-In-One Alaguraj...

I can still recollect Sujatha's 'En Iniya Iyanthira' and 'Meendum Geno' which took us to the Modern Chennai of 21st Century. He had given code numbers to several characters of those novels, instead of names. Certain main characters had nice names like 'Nila'. It looked odd at that time for me, to understand the centralised database of info about those characters. However, if it turns out to be a reality, will the future activities of all of us be determined by such a database - with a code name? How far will it be secured?

Eventhough, it may take a long time to reach those situations realistically, several developments are going on to assimilate various data on us. Many Governments are working on it and recent efforts of UK government on issuing ID Cards had created so much of fuss. (Read it out here)

Still, many people are really worried about the electronizing their personal data. They knew that their data will flow outside, to countries offering offshore services. They may be at the risk of losing data sometimes, since 100% of the offshore employees may not be honest and may be vulnerable for cash offerings in exchange of a huge database. You might have read this report as well, in this regard.

So, how far it is safe to hold our data in a centralised database or a network of database? Will it be exposed too much? It is a big question, still looking for an answer today.

Anyhow, it is a long way to go for our Indian residents, since just recently the Government had put some real efforts in issuing Identity cards. The level which I am talking about will take 'n' of years.. may be by the end of our generation, we may see it there. I believe by that time, the security measures would have improved a lot (along with the growth of bad elements thru hackers!!).

To end this in a humorous way.. let us enjoy the following scene..

Under those situations, will the normal dialogues for a PizzaHut order turn out to be like this... (assume that the customer is our Goundamani as 'Alaguraj')

Operator: "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut . May I have your..."
Alaguraj: "Hello, can I order.."
Operator: "Can I have your multi purpose card number first, Sir?"
Alaguraj: "It's eh..., hold..........on......889861356102049998-45-54610"
Operator: "OK... you're... Mr Alaguraj and you're calling from 17 Jeyammal Road, Korukkupet. Your home number is 660 4094 2366, your office number is 760 7645 2302 and your mobile is 234 01426 62566".
Alaguraj: "How did you get all my phone numbers?"
Operator: "We are connected to the system Sir"
Alaguraj: "May I order your Seafood Pizza..."
Operator: "That's not a good idea Sir"
Alaguraj: "How come?"
Operator: "According to your medical records, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level Sir"
Alaguraj: "What?... What do you recommend then?"
Operator: "Try our Low Fat Hokkien Mee Pizza. You'll like it"
Alaguraj: "How do you know for sure?"
Operator: "You borrowed a book entitled 'Popular Hokkien Dishes' from the Central Library last week Sir"
Alaguraj: "OK I give up... Give me three family size ones then, how much will that cost?"
Operator: "That should be enough for your family of 10, Sir. The total is Rs.3450/-"
Alaguraj: "Can I pay by credit card?"
Operator: "I'm afraid you have to pay us cash, Sir. Your credit card is over the limit and you owe your bank Rs.25,600.90/- since May-05. That's not including the late payment charges on your housing loan, Sir."
Alaguraj: "I guess I have to run to the neighbourhood ATM and withdraw some cash before your guy arrives"
Operator: "You can't Sir. Based on the records, you've reached your daily limit on machine withdrawal today"
Alaguraj: "Never mind just send the pizzas, I'll have the cash ready. How long is it gonna take anyway?"
Operator: "About 45 minutes Sir, but if you can't wait you can always come and collect it on your Honda Civic, sir..."
Alaguraj: " What!"
Operator: "According to the details in system ,you own a Honda Civic, ...Regn no.ABC 1123-4XY..."
Alaguraj: " ????"
Operator: "Is there anything else Sir?"
Alaguraj: "Nothing... by the way... aren't you giving me that 3 free bottles of cola as advertised?"
Operator: "We normally would Sir, but based on your records you're also diabetic....... "
Alaguraj: #$$^%&$@$%^ (namma Goundamani style scoldings.. like 'naaye.. panni...')
Operator: "Better watch your language Sir. Remember on 15th July 20__ you were convicted of using abusive language on a policeman...?"
Alaguraj: [Faints]
176th post


Anonymous kavitha said...

that dialogue really was very funny.
But the possibility of losing your privacy like that does create scares ....

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger G3 said...

haha! good one there. such a day in Singapore does not look far away

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

thank god it can never happen in india!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

The goundamani part was very entertaining. i guess people will rise up against intrusion of privacy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Kavitha.. as you say, the possibility is not an easy thought to swallow.

Gayathri.. U r right. But, I feel we are already with a similar system.. except that the private networks like Pizzahut cannot access such info.

Vatsan.. It is in a distant place.

Kaps.. to some extent this may happen as in Singapore. It may not reach the private sector networks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 1:56:00 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

After 4 hours the Salad shop guys rings alaguraj and says 'Sir, u had Low Fat Hokkien Mee Pizza three hours back. So by now, you and your family shud be feeling hungry. Try our new kuppaThotti Salad. It is low on calories and good for a diabetic, and better for you wife with cardiac complaint. We also give a complimentary cafe mocha with whipped cream, your second son's favourite drink'. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 2:47:00 AM  
Blogger Raju said...

That was REALLY GOOD.. ROTFL.. good imagination.. I wont be surprised if it indeed happens.. :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

TJ ...that's a good one to add in the conversation.

GP.. :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 2:16:00 PM  
Blogger tt_giant said...

nice one ram!. conversation a tamil la potrukalame?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 3:07:00 PM  
Blogger visithra said...

We already have the system of computerised data storing ids. Luckily only the police and government agencies have access to it now. Its had its few runs of glitches.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 1:24:00 AM  
Blogger thennavan said...

LOL! Good one Ram :-)

Thursday, September 01, 2005 7:57:00 AM  
Blogger Vinesh said...

Thanks for blogging about my Thalaivar :-)

Great one there!

Thursday, September 01, 2005 8:44:00 PM  
Blogger Saravana Kumar said...

Ram its already there in the US.

The number is the social security number.

The agency that keep the records is the credit bureaus.

When you run a credit check of a social security number, you sure get all this information.

Friday, September 02, 2005 6:44:00 AM  
Blogger Saravana Kumar said...

ya ram like tt_giant says, nambha all in all alaghuraj pesuradha mozhi peyarka pudiyaadhu ... adhaavadhu aangilathil

Friday, September 02, 2005 6:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Deepak.. lack of time, so couldn't make it in tamil

visithra.. u r right.. in singapore & malaysia they have a database similar to what I am talking about... But not full fledged.

Thennavan / Vinesh... :-) :-) :-)

SK.. Yes, definitely they have. Once again it is a part only. Am not sure, if any particular agency will be able to get all info (including medical, personal etc.,) thru a network, on a click of a button.... May be, it should on the way..

Friday, September 02, 2005 4:43:00 PM  

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