Arab security body wants to create a biometric fingerprint database
The Arab Interior Minister Council (AIMC), a body tasked with fighting crime in the Middle East, wants to create a biometric fingerprint database.
This week, its members discussed establishing the biometric database within the domain of the General Secretariat of the Council, as well as setting regulations and identifying policies for their use.
Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) participated in the meetings with representatives from the Administration of Criminal Evidence and Information at the General Department of Criminal Investigation, according to The Gulf Times.
The Arab Interior Minister Council is tasked with developing coordination in Arab countries in internal security and fighting crime. It also offers support to international bodies such as Interpol with which it shares warrants and access to data on crimes and criminals. The Council’s general secretariat is based in Tunis.
Arab countries have been expanding their biometric capabilities, including Kuwait which announced in August that one million people have submitted their fingerprints to the country’s central biometric database. Privacy watchdogs, however, have voiced concerns over the possibility of using biometric information to crack down on human rights across the Middle East.
In June, UN experts warned the Arab League that the Arab Interior Ministers Council is failing to protect against political extraditions. Increasing the use of biometric technology could mean closer cooperation between repressive governments, according to human rights organizations.