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Digital Identity in the Migration and Refugee Context

– Data & Society

Dr. Mark Latonero and colleagues review the refugee experience in Italy in relation to the digital identity ecosystem, and challenges created by the ecosystem’s design and implementation

In this report for Data & Society, supported by Coalizione Italiana Libertà e Diritti Civili and the Open Society Foundations, Latonero, Hiatt, Napolitano,Clericetti, and Penagos focus on “three major areas of concern: bureaucratic bias in identity systems; privacy and mistrusted systems; and organizational data responsibility.”

The authors also provide detailed context and offer recommendations for those stakeholders in Italy with the power to address concerns like obtaining meaningful consent, language barriers, and inconsistent data collection.

The authors urge Italian officials and other stakeholders to create relevant policies and implement safeguarding to protect the rights of refugees. They note in the report:

The technologies and processes involved in digital identity will not provide easy solutions in the migration and refugee context. Technologies that rely on identity data introduce a new sociotechnical layer that may exacerbate existing biases, discrimination, or power imbalances

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