@ Here we go again
"I do know of governments who have highly successful cenralised identity systems. that have complete details of a persons life. Unfortunately I doubt you would want to live in those countries. Democracy and Freedom have a price, which in many cases is more than the goverment wants to pay. However if you want to repeal the Freedom of Information act, the Data Protection act and strengthen the powers of the home office, then I see no problem in delivering an effective and secure government infrastructure." - Anon Coward @ 14:17 GMT
Personally speaking, I'd happily live in Denmark.
Even though "[Their Personal identification number] register was established in 1968 by combining information from all municipal civil registers of Denmark into one."
And even though "The number is an integral part of Danish society, and it is virtually impossible to receive any form of government service without one. Even in the private sector one would be hard pressed to receive services without such a number, unless it is minor daily business." - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_identification_number_%28Denmark%29
Or, without worry, I'd live in;
The Netherlands (Burgerservicenummer - printed on driving licenses, passports and international ID cards),
Sweden (personnummer - was probably the first of its kind when it was introduced on the 1st of January 1947.),
Finland (henkilötunnus/personbeteckning - Often it is needed for government transactions, the use of the personal ID number is regulated, and requesting is legally restricted),
Iceland (kennitala - the use of the identification number is unusually open and extensive in Iceland and is never used as an authenticator. It is worth noting that the completeness of the National Registry eliminates any need for Iceland to take censuses.),
Norway (birth number - assigned at birth or registration),
or Canada (Social Insurance Number (SIN) - issued in Canada to administer various government programs.).
Note that in 16 out of the past 20 years, Norway or Canada has sat atop the Human Development Index (HDI) - a general measure of the standard of living worldwide. Iceland is the current leader. The UK trails behind all of them.
Granted, the UK has an NI card, but the gov (based on the evidence thus far) can neither be trusted with, or are capable of, administering a national database.
IT angle? We lag behind many other countries on standard of living because we lag behind on tech implenetation. It's embarrasing.