Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

As Gates Doubles Down on Digital IDs, Critic Warns of ‘Gravest Technological Threat’ to Liberty

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this month announced $200 million in new funding — part of an overall $1.27 billion commitment in support of “global health and development projects” that include creating a global digital ID system.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) this month said it will invest $200 million in digital ID projects, encompassing “digital public infrastructure, including civil registry databases and digital ID” to help meet the 2030 target date for reaching the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The $200 million in new funding — part of an overall $1.27 billion commitment by the BMGF in support of “global health and development projects,” is closely tied to Goal 16.9 of the SDGs, for which “digital identity programs are supposedly needed,” Reclaim the Net reported.

The funding adds to several existing BMFG-supported global digital ID initiatives, even as such initiatives come under fire for violating people’s right to privacy.

Michael Rectenwald, author of “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” said that far from promoting an improved digital infrastructure or “global health and development,” digital identity will have more onerous applications.