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Biometrics Institute working with UNCTED on biometrics and counter-terrorism project


The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) and the Biometrics Institute will launch a Compendium of good practices and recommendations for biometric data collection, storage, and sharing in June, 2018, in support of UN Security Council Resolution 2322.

Resolution 2322 calls on UN member states to share biometric data of foreign terrorist fighters in order to identify them and track their movements, but according to a Biometrics Institute blog post, “(t)here is currently a concerning lack of biometric information being gathered and shared across international borders on known and suspected terrorists.”

“A Compendium of Good and Recommended Practices on the Responsible Use and Sharing of Biometrics in Identifying Terrorists” will be developed within the framework of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Center (UNCCT) of the Office of Counter-terrorism (OCT). The UNCCT consists of representatives of the ICAO, IOM, UNHCR, UNOIDC, OIPC-INTERPOL, IMO, and other groups involved with biometrics, the post says.

The Compendium will provide information on technical implementation and good practices, including privacy and personal data protection, and will stress an understanding of the potential for error in biometric data collection. It will be written, edited, and reviewed by an international consortium of experts convened by the Biometrics Institute from among UN agencies, governments, and biometric experts.

The announcement follows the previously reported passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2396 in December, which calls specifically for UN members to establish watchlists with biometric data of known and suspected terrorists. A second phase will carry out regional workshops in high-priority countries, if funded.

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