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What's in a SIN?

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Irian

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« on: (02:59:54/09-15-10) »
A SIN is, technically spoken, a number (or more accuratly, probably an alphanumeric character string). I like to think about it as an "identification number", like the number on your passport today. It is, of course, used as an id to store data about you into a database. For example, if a shop sells you something, they will insert an entry into the shop's database like "Sold: X and Y to SIN Z.". Or if you get jailed, the government will insert an entry into your criminal record (which itself consists only of entries in a government database) like "SIN X convicted for Y and Z." (simplified, of course).

The big question is: How much information does this number include in itself?

For example, an identification number on a german identity card (21 digits) contains the birth date, the expiry date, nationality, authority code and some error checking numbers.

So in Shadowrun one could argue, that an ID that is primarily transmitted electronically could be much longer and thus contain much more data in itself. For example, the SIN could contain a hash of the retina (a, let's say, 32 digit number that can be computed from the data gained by scanning your retina - and stays the same every time you scan - and theoretically, it should be impossible to calculate what the retina looks like when only having the hash).

Is there information about what IS stored in a SIN itself? What can you check with a given ID if you don't have access to any government, etc. database?
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #1 on: (05:47:07/09-15-10) »
As I understand it, the SIN contains all that information and more.  It has birthplace as well as the date, and enough information to positively identify someone based upon fingerprints, retina patterns, and DNA patterns.

It also appears to be an evolving ID, meaning that based upon the subjects purchases, movments and financial and personal records, keeps up with the major changes and trends within the persons life.  Highly complex, as I understand it.
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Irian

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« Reply #2 on: (05:53:41/09-15-10) »
I understand that it could contain such data as DNA (hashed, as described), etc. but I do not understand how the number should be able to CHANGE. It's an identifier, how should it change? That's like saying "Hello, my name is Frank 148$ in my bankaccount Miler. Ups, no, it's Frank 142$ in my bankaccount Miller. Oh, no, it's Frank 142$ in my bankaccount with green trousers Miller. Erm... Wrong again... It's now..." An ID has to stay as it is, that's the important thing for an id. If the ID would change, how would you prevent that someone simply introduces himself with an older one? If you have to cross-check it, if it's the most recent one, the whole process of storing information in it is worthless, as you could have simply asked a server from the start :-)
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #3 on: (05:58:52/09-15-10) »
The first part of the number, birthdate, birthplace and basic identification, can remain the same while the secondary part can be added onto and evolve over time.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

Irian

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« Reply #4 on: (06:05:29/09-15-10) »
And again: What for? It's a good idea to include some biometic data to be able (offline, without having to connect to some other computer) to say "Yes, the man IS the owner of SIN XYZ.". But abusing the SIN to double as a database itself doesn't make sense, sorry.
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Devil

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« Reply #5 on: (07:34:31/09-15-10) »
It seems like the SIN itself doesn't store all data. It is used to recognize you as the object of data stored. For example..you go into a store and they already have suggestions for you. That would be based on that store or network's data on you. While not stored in your SIN code, it uses your SIN to keep track of you.

FastJack

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« Reply #6 on: (09:28:30/09-15-10) »
From Unwired, p 9:

Quote
Who are you?: I.D. in the wireless world
     Your System Identification Number is a unique identifier issued to you at birth or any time you change national or corporate citizenship. This identifier (which is not just alpha-numeric) contains basic information, such as your birthdate, birthplace, and other data, encoded within the identifier. If issued at birth, your SIN will be linked to basic biometric data, such as a DNA sample, retinal scan, and finger prints. As you age, additional biometrics such as voice patterns, facial patterns, and hand measurements can be added. Your SIN is registered with your country or corporation of citizenship as well as with the Global SIN Registry. Following the Crash, most governments and corporations began requiring multiple backup databases that can be accessed in case of national emergency.
     Your ID contains all the data necessary to interact with other citizens, government/corporate agencies, and physical or online retailers. Although every issuing country/corp embeds different data on a citizenís ID, they generally contain your name, age, metatype, a physical description, a current photo, licenses, and are frequently linked to your bank account. Many countries also require IDs to contain your status if you are Awakened or a technomancer along with registries of any cyber- or bioware you have.
     Your SIN is linked to biometric data and proves you are a citizen. Your ID is who you are. Together, they allow you to exist in todayís world.

There is also a blurb in Shadowbeat (I think, I don't have the book with me) that said a Lone Star cop could get your Birthdate, Metatype, whether you're a criminal or not, country/city of origin and some other details just by looking at the SIN code itself, without a scanner.
« Last Edit: (09:30:52/09-15-10) by FastJack »

Devil

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« Reply #7 on: (09:37:12/09-15-10) »
This info would meet that SINs are quite long compared to current ID numbers. It would also mean that the most important information would probably be at the beginning of the SIN. Does anyone know if these things only use numbers? Or are letters also used?

FastJack

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« Reply #8 on: (09:50:40/09-15-10) »
From the first line of the passage I quoted, they use many characters and it is not just alpha-numeric. Consider the number of ALT characters we have available to us with just a 256-character base and today's computers. Now, blow that up by a couple trillion and start using iconography and other languages as well.

Hell, just today, we could use and to denote the difference between a normal SINner and and criminal SINner.

Devil

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« Reply #9 on: (10:06:26/09-15-10) »
Sorry. I missed that.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #10 on: (10:19:48/09-15-10) »
The data is probably there in shorthand form.  Like a specific code meaning certain things, and each set of codes comes together to denote more information.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

Irian

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« Reply #11 on: (11:04:33/09-15-10) »
Technically, as the SIN is just a number, it will be stored binary anyway, so it's simply a matter for formatting. You can display it as a hex-number, a decimal number, as an ASCII-String, etc.
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #12 on: (11:09:14/09-15-10) »
Or smileys!

 :) ;D ??? :o :-X :'( ;) :D :-[ :P ::) 8) :( :D :'( :o :o
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

MJBurrage

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« Reply #13 on: (00:10:11/09-16-10) »
From SR3:
"The actual numbers that compose a SIN are generated by a complex formula from several pieces of personal data. What this means is that law enforcement officials can determine your birthdate, state of origin and initials from your SIN."

All the actual examples of what SINs look like are included in the System_Identification_Number article at Sixth World Wiki.  From those examples it is clear to me that cops would only be able to know all the related data "at a glance" if they understood some of the encoding formulas.

Irian

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« Reply #14 on: (00:27:57/09-16-10) »
They don't need to understand it, as they surely have a computer program that decodes it for them :-)
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