Digital Rights Movement petitions against Israeli biometric database law

The Digital Rights Movement petitioned against the recently passed Biometric Database Law, declaring to the High Court of Justice that the law violates the privacy and security of citizens, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post. “From the moment the database went into effect, we all go on to the blacklist of potential suspects,” DRM lawyer Yonatan Klinger said. “The rule in our democracy until now has been very simple: if you did not break a law, you do

UK government’s position on facial biometrics database hit with liberal backlash

The UK government’s decision to allow police to store the facial biometric images of millions of innocent people on a massive database has drawn a number criticisms from UK civil liberties’ groups and the Liberal Democrats, according to a report by UK Authority. Independent biometrics commissioner Paul Wiles condemned the practice last week, stating that UK citizens are entitled to greater “independent oversight, transparency and assurance”. Wiles called on ministers to implement a ‘presumption of deletion’, which would make it

Committee reviews U.S. law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Regulation held a bipartisan hearing Wednesday morning to review the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) by law enforcement agencies, particularly the policies of the FBI. The committee reviewed the current state of FRT, its many uses, benefits and challenges, and ultimately assessed whether any legislation is required. Last May, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report stating that the FBI should better ensure privacy and accuracy in its use of FRT,

Aadhaar authentication devices will have to comply with new encryption standards

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the governing agency in charge of Aadhaar, will make it mandatory for all devices using Aadhaar authentication to comply with its new encryption standards, according to a report by The Economic Times. The new rule is intended to provide an extra security layer to the hardware as the country transitions to biometrics-based digital payment system. “We have recently come out with new specifications and asked manufacturers and vendors to go for STQC certification as

Nigeria to register 16M farmers in biometric database

The Nigerian government said it will register at least 16 million farmers in a new biometric database to enable them to receive benefits from intervention packages during the 2017 cropping season, according to a report by Today. Professor Danbala Danju, the managing director of the Bank of Agriculture, revealed the news while signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for public private partnership (PPP) with Trans-Sahara Consortium, Nigeria. The federal government would ensure that the registered farmers received all the needed

Israeli government passes biometric database law

Earlier this week, the Knesset passed the biometric database law in its second and third readings after all concerns were addressed and resolved, according to a report by Israel National News. The move comes a couple months after the Knesset extended Israel’s biometric database pilot program until February 28, in light that the program will likely be approved, albeit with a few revisions. The bill, which saw a final vote of 39-29 in favor, was significantly revised from its initial

UK police told to remove images of innocent people from police database on request

The UK home secretary has ordered UK police agencies to delete on request millions of images of innocent people illegally stored on a national police database, according to a report by The Guardian. According to a Home Office review, police agencies used more than 19 million images and videos, otherwise known as custody images, of individuals they have arrested or questioned on the police national database. Despite a high court ruling in 2012 that made it unlawful for agencies to

UIDAI lodges complaints due to inappropriate Aadhaar data use

According to an article published in the Times of India, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has lodged criminal complaints with the Delhi Police against three firms for illegal use of Aadhaar biometric data. The firms under investigation include: Axis Bank, Suvidhaa Infoserve and eMudhra. The newspaper notes that the complaints were filed after UIDAI detected exact biometric matches in multiple consecutive transactions which the authority said was not possible without biometrics being stored in an unauthorized manner. UIDAI

Microsoft considering using Aadhaar to authenticate Skype users in India

Microsoft is considering using Aadhaar to authenticate users in India of its VoIP phone service Skype, according to a report by The Hindu Business Line. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently met with India’s Minister for Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, to discuss how the technologies used in Digital India projects can benefit the country. The Digital India initiative aims to make government services available to Indian citizens electronically through improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity. Microsoft said

Lawyers urge Antiguans to reject national fingerprint database plans

Antiguans are being urged by local, regional and international lawyers to reject government plans to make a national fingerprint database available for broader government use. Last week it was announced that Antigua’s government will debate a plan to implement a system for capturing, digitizing and archiving citizens’ fingerprints during the electoral process. The measure is intended to give several government agencies access to the national biometric database. According to a report by the Antigua Observer, the attorney’s say that the