We haven’t had to wait long to get a worse-case scenario for facial recognition and biometrics:
The Taliban has seized US biometric databases and equipment in Afghanistan. This comes after a push to digitise whole swathes of Afghan life.
Rina Chandran, Reuters:
After years of a push to digitise databases in the country, and introduce digital identity cards and biometrics for voting, activists warn these technologies can be used to target and attack vulnerable groups.
“We understand that the Taliban is now likely to have access to various biometric databases and equipment in Afghanistan,” the Human Rights First group wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“This technology is likely to include access to a database with fingerprints and iris scans, and include facial recognition technology,” the group added.
The Taliban, famously pro-violent-reparisal, now have access to high-tech identification systems.
This is a nightmare scenario for people in Afghanistan. And for all the people who have been worried about this exact thing happening.
Damien P Williams summed it up well on Twitter:
I mean jesus fucking CHRIST people, how many times did we warn about the security & privacy vulnerabilities of facial recognition & biometrics as a paradigm in itself & of its storage in the long term?
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