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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Digital Identifiers

When I began working in the catering sector in my teens in the 1960s, the seniors called me "輝仔" ("Little Fai"). After joining the civil service in the 1970s, my seniors and colleagues in the housing and land administration sectors addressed me as "張仔" ("Little Cheung"). When I was working in the Attorney General's Chambers in the 1980s, they all called me "Peter".

Ever since I joined the Intellectual Property Department in the 1990s, my subordinates persistently called me "張生" ("Mr Cheung"), although I identified myself as "Peter". When I began private practice, those assisting me and the Court all called me "Mr Cheung". Solicitors and their secretaries working with me would address me as "Counsel" or "大狀" at their pleasure.

I have been virtually active (and somebody have made me so) for over 10 years now. Due to the use of different digital identifiers by myself and others, I have difficulties in finding my published contents or stuff published about me over the web. Occasionally, new friends who mined the web about me would send me stuff that I did not know they were made available to the public at all.

The language-based digital identifier problem is not uncommon. To resolve it, I believe, there is a need to have a single registering agency to establish math-like identifying standards. When there is an unambiguous, permanent, citable and trustworthy digital identifier for a person or institution, or for any digital content, new business opportunities will surface!

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