Greece’s Council of State (CoS), the country’s highest administrative court, has ruled that the creation and application of a “single code” for use by citizens in all types of transactions with the public sector is legal.

The ruling means that Greek citizens are closer to eschewing separate serial numbers for the tax bureau, another for healthcare and drug prescriptions, a separate one for one’s police ID and others.

The soon-to-be-enacted personal code will be used for all transactions with the public sector and as a verification number for all citizens. Nevertheless, the tax bureau number (AFM) will remain in the background, as the primary basis behind the new single code.

The latter will comprise 12 characters, of which nine will be numbers (from 0 to 9). The first three characters will be letters of the Greek alphabet that also correspond to letters in the Latin alphabet.

Citizens will be called on to select two out of the three letter characters in the new code, otherwise, a random code will be generated by the relevant general secretariat of IT systems and digital governance.

The “omni-code” will be generated just once and will be unique, accompanying a citizen throughout their life, similar to the US Social Security Number.

Several plaintiffs had sought recourse with the high court, claiming that the new single code/number violated clauses ensuring the protection of personal data.