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Here’s why civil society activists are criticising World Bank’s digital ID initiative

Civil society organisations ask the World Bank to stop supporting “unchecked digital ID systems that enable surveillance, exclusion, and discrimination.”

What’s the news? An open letter issued by civil society organisations and individuals on September 7 asks the World Bank to stop supporting “unchecked digital ID systems that enable surveillance, exclusion, and discrimination”. This is in reference to the World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative which “helps establish new, or upgrade existing, digital ID systems.”  “By implementing digital ID systems that are unchecked, untested, and, most importantly, at odds with human rights, this high-level institution is not only risking the privacy of millions, but setting a dangerous precedent for global decision-makers,” said Marianne Díaz Hernández, a campaigner at Access Now, which is a digital rights focused non-profit organisation.  Why it matters: The open letter highlights the example of India’s biometric-based digital identification system – Aadhaar. Poorly planned ID systems have affected human rights in India, the Access Now press release…

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