An Australian MP has called for the Government to give every Australian their own email address for life. He has suggested the address could be based on surname, first name, and date of birth, with an @australia.org.au domain.
"The virtue of this electronic pigeonhole is that it would be permanent," he said. "You might change your email address every few months and your apartment every few years, but throughout your life this pigeonhole would be yours."
These days, people change address and email accounts often. Turnbull's idea is that it would be cheaper to establish a permanent email address for distributing Federal Government information, rather than spending money contacting people via telephone and mail (and, presumably, defunct email addresses).
I wonder if he's considered why people change their email addresses, however? Sometimes it's because you get a new ISP, and your account changes. If you're like me, though, you've always opted for webmail accounts anyway. The only reason I change one of my email accounts is spam.
If we were to establish this permanent email system, can you imagine the volume of spam every Australian would have to wade through, to find that one legitimate Federal Government email buried in their inbox? It wouldn't be hard to guess the email addresses; it wouldn't be hard to find them out, if you wanted to expend a little effort. Banks etc would know them immediately you opened an account. There wouldn't just be the normal odious spam, there'd be the equivalent of targeted telemarketing.
For this to work, I'm guessing you'll need the world's best spam filter. Otherwise who's going to even bother logging in?