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Paving a Digital Road to Hell

Suzanne Burdick of Children’s Health Defense writes:

“The authors of a new report on digital identity systems warned ‘the actual and potential’ human rights violations arising from the digital ID model can be ‘severe and potentially irreversible.’

The 100-page report — “Paving the Road to Hell? A Primer on the Role of the World Bank and Global Networks in Promoting Digital ID” — published by New York University’s (NYU) Center for Human Rights and Global Justice urged human rights organizations to heed the threats posed by a global push for digital IDs.

The NYU researchers said many proponents — including the World Bank — portray digital IDs as a means to achieving greater inclusivity and environmental sustainability when, in fact, the systems are likely to do just the opposite.

According to the report, the digital ID has been dressed up as an ‘unstoppable juggernaut and inevitable hallmark of modernity and development in the 21st century,’ causing dissenting voices to be ‘written off as Luddites and barriers to progress’ … Governments around the world have been investing heavily in digital identification systems, often with biometric components, the authors said in a statement.

Digital ID systems that frequently collect biometric data — such as fingerprints, iris or other facial feature recognition — are being adopted to replace or complement non-digital government identification systems.”

Learn more: 'Paving a Digital Road to Hell'