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EU/US standards work on digital IDs missing rights component

Categories Biometrics News
EU/US standards work on digital IDs missing rights component

A North Atlantic effort to synchronize governmental approaches to digital identity systems is ignoring standards that would protect privacy and human rights, according to a skeptical advocacy group.

The Center for Democracy & Technology has published a statement saying coordinated regulation must address the human and societal affects digital IDs can create. That is not happening, according to the group.

The center sent the letter to the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council, which is seeking methods of cross-governmental cooperation.

The ID field is, of course, busy publicly and privately, but there is a growing lack of coordination – particularly in the United States — in deploying, managing and controlling the software.

Standardization is supported by the center, but members say work must begin now on making sure the council’s work incorporates protections for human rights. The group has volunteered to join the effort to accomplish this.

The “exercise thus far has failed to compare how the (standards) frameworks address those values – particularly privacy, free expression, and freedom from discrimination and bias – and what is needed to protect them in cross-border interoperability of digital Identities,” according to the center.

Unless these public goods are part of regulations, center members say it is likely that there will be “ubiquitous infringement of human rights.” Trust in government will plummet, too, they allege.

Business will be hurt as well. Isolation and no interoperability will add to costs and slow or prevent some trade. There likely will be legal challenges over trade and digital ID policies as well.

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