FB pixel

Report weights transparency and privacy of biometrics for Yemen humanitarian aid

Special data storage measures taken
 

WFP biometric aid delivery system still not launched in Yemen

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is in a critical state, and further deteriorating says PRIO in a new Policy Brief. The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) is a key player in the humanitarian field, leveraging digital technologies and biometrics to deliver more efficient, cost effective aid strategies; particularly in Yemen where more than 24 million people are in need of assistance.

In February, 2020, the aid operation was scaled-down due to risks associated with transportation of supplies.

Delivery of aid in emergency situations is increasingly answered with the use of biometrics and identity solutions, such as iris or fingerprint scans for food collection, which improves traceability in volatile environments, but also sparks concerns about the possibility of consent.

The WFP’s digital assistance platform, SCOPE is used to register and supply over 50 million beneficiaries worldwide. While over 1 million Yemenis have been registered by WFP, the organization has clashed with Houthi authorities (a political, armed movement who took control of state institutions in 2014) who argue that WFP is violating national laws by holding control over storage and use of biometric data. WFP maintains that biometric registration is necessary to prevent fraud and ensure effective aid distribution, says PRIO.

Over 16 million Yemenis are currently facing severe levels of food insecurity and over 3.5 million are in need of treatment for acute malnutrition, making the need for solutions increasingly urgent.

In consequence to Houthi resistance to biometric registration in the country, registration devices will not be connected to the internet and biometric data will be stored by WFP on a secure joint server room in Yemen.

Integrated Biometrics published a case study detailing the use of the company’s Five-O ten-print biometric scanner to support food aid delivery in Yemen last year.

Though WFP’s work in Yemen saves lives, PRIO mentions reports of beneficiaries who are concerned or fearful about the usage and lack of oversight over personal data. Critics of biometric systems in the humanitarian context suggest that informed consent over providing personal data is not possible when acceptance of biometric registration is a prerequisite for access to life-saving food and medical treatment.

In this context, biometrics usage highlights fundamental global disparities, yet is the result of humanitarian actors under pressure to document aid in an efficient way.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News

 

DHS awards SVIP contract to Procivis for decentralized identity software

Procivis AG, a subsidiary of Swiss institution Orell Füssli, has been awarded a tender through the U.S. Department of Homeland…

 

IDnow rides online betting wave from UEFA Euro Championship

IDnow is capitalizing on UEFA European Football Championship fever, registering over eight times more identity verification requests on sports betting…

 

Android 15 integrates biometric security across the board

In the latest Android 15 Beta 3 release, significant progress has been made in the area of biometric authentication. In…

 

Vote begins on biometric injection attack standard

Europe’s standard for biometric data injection attacks is on track to be published in October of this year, and could…

 

Police Scotland engages public on biometric data rights amid cloud storage concerns

Police Scotland has commenced the distribution of an information leaflet to all individuals in police custody who have their biometric…

 

‘Facial recognition is the easy part’: digital travel ID pilot results are in

Air travel has been getting more complicated. From security and passport checks to special documents such as COVID-19 certificates, passengers…

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