FB pixel

Northrop Grumman shareholders demand rights report over DHS biometric database contract

Northrop Grumman shareholders demand rights report over DHS biometric database contract
 

A group of shareholders are planning to challenge Northrop Grumman leadership over the human rights implications of its lucrative new contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Northrop Grumman won the $95 million, 42-month contract for the first two development stages of the OBIM’s new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) biometric database. The Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment (Tri-CRI) filed a shareholder resolution in November, following failed discussions with management, the EFF says.

Tri-CRI notes in the shareholder resolution that corporations have human rights responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and that U.S. government sales made up 85 percent of Northrop Grumman of its 2017 sales. The group expresses concerns that HART may be used with algorithms that have inherent racial bias, and echoes an EFF warning that it could have a chilling effect on democratic freedoms.

“The HART database will amplify the surveillance capabilities of government agencies, presenting risks to privacy and First Amendment rights and causing harm to immigrant communities,” Tri-CRI writes in the resolution. “Through the provision of services through the DHS contract, Northrop Grumman may be linked or contribute to these adverse human rights impacts.”

The group also says that Northrop Grumman does not disclose how its Human Rights Policy is operationalized to reduce the risk of adverse impacts.

“Investors are unable to assess how Northrop Grumman embeds respect for human rights into the process for vetting and implementing contracts with the U.S. Government or foreign governments, or the effectiveness of any systems which may be in place to prevent or mitigate human rights risks.”

The shareholders are requesting that the company’s Board of Directors prepare a report on its management systems and Human Rights Policy implementation processes.

Voting on the resolution will take place May 15.

OBIM Identity Operations Division Director Patrick Nemeth told Biometric Update that there are necessarily a lot of constraints on DHS’ biometrics agency, as stewards of the data.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News

 

Trinsic launches reusable digital ID network with biometrics partners

A new digital identity network has been launched by Trinsic, which describes it as the “first identity acceptance network” with…

 

Huawei accelerates global digital transformation with digital ID, ICT and 5G projects

In recent years, global telecommunications provider Huawei Technologies has significantly ramped up its involvement in infrastructure projects aimed at supporting…

 

Move over, Armani: Italy’s It Wallet is the digital ID accessory of the season

Bravo to Italy for the forthcoming launch of its digital wallet scheme, clearing the path for a national digital identity…

 

Sumsub brings non-doc biometric identity verification to new markets

Biometric identity verification providers are expanding their market reach in various ways, including Sumsub’s support for users without ID documents…

 

Scottish Government emphasizes security of new platform for digital public services

Scotland is talking up the data security measures designed and build into ScotAccount, a single-sign on (SSO) service designed to…

 

Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania upgrade digital ID systems in concert with development partners

Zambia has carried out a major first step in its transition towards a modern legal and digital identity system, by…

Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events