Face biometric authentication for social welfare approved by Morocco’s data protection authority

Face biometric authentication for social welfare approved by Morocco’s data protection authority

The  CNDP, Morocco’s personal data protection commission, has approved the use of biometric authentication systems, specifically facial recognition technology, by social security institutions for user authentication and proof of life of social welfare beneficiaries, writes OneTrust DataGuidance.

According to the document (in French and translated by Google), the deliberation was held under the chairmanship of Omar Seghrouchni. Given the health emergency, the commission discussed both the economic opportunities and challenges of facial recognition technology based on international expertise in biometrics it had access to.

Arguing that technology should be at the service of citizens and the economy, National Commission appointees Brahim Bouabid and Driss Belmahi expressed their strong reservations regarding proprietary biometric databases, possibly stored outside national territory.

The main recommendations include the deployment of a national trusted third-party system for authentication, instead of multiple databases or registers, and separate storage for usage data and data authentication systems. During a state of emergency, a solution is needed to help reduce health risks. Therefore, each government agency controller has to file an authorization request for data processing and facial recognition technologies, as well as ensure authentication stages are followed using the third-party services provided. The authorization to process personal data does not replace authorizations that need to be issued by third-party authorities or legislative and regulatory texts in force.

In April, CNDP had decided to extend the moratorium on the use of biometric facial recognition until the end of 2020.

Morocco has just reported moving forward with its biometric National Electronic Identity Card (CNIE), after the government accepted a draft decree.

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