- The Japanese government is currently aiming to implement a nationwide ID number platform named MyNumber.
- The digital minister of Japan, Taro Kono, has faced some obstacles in the laws that require data to be shared with floppy disks/CD-ROMs and forbid uploading them to the internet.
- There are currently more than 1,900 regulations in Japan that force citizens to hand their data to the government with old technologies and Kono is trying to change it.
The development of technologies is relatively quick compared to governments’ adoption of them. Governments generally can’t jump on a new technology that affects its citizens; because not everybody can use that, and it needs to maturate because of security reasons that might affect millions of citizens. That’s why some governments are still using older technologies in their systems.
Getting rid of old technologies
While intentionally staying the technology development is a thing, sometimes governments actually forget to get rid of older technologies, or they delay because it is too complicated to do so. Those two ways mostly end up citizens face with some ancient techs such as fax and floppy disks. It seems like Japan, the country known for its technology and discipline is suffering from those old techs as well.
Taro Kono, the digital minister of Japan, is now pushing hard to get rid of floppy disks and CD-ROMs from the government systems forever. The country is currently looking for launching a national ID number system named MyNumber which will require uploading the personal data of the citizens to online platforms.
However, Taro Kono’s team has faced some problems: More than 1,900 regulations for sharing data with the government still require floppy disks or CD-ROMs, and uploading those data via the internet is forbidden. Those regulations directly affect the MyNumber platform, thus, Taro Kono is currently trying to modernize those regulations.
Can carry only 1.44 MB of data
For those who are young enough, the floppy disk is a 45-year-old technology that can carry 1.44 MB of data on its magnetic disk, which can easily be destroyed with magnets. CD-ROM on the other hand is an almost 40-year-old tech that can hold up to 700 MB of data on its optical disk to be written and read with lasers.
One of the ancient technologies that are still being used because of outdated regulations is the fax. Still, many governments, not only Japan, require official documents to be sent as faxes despite the difficulty of finding fax machines. The former prime minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga has also tried to get rid of fax-related regulations, however, he could not.