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Photo: / Dmytro Tyshchenko

'First Platoon' Examines How War on Terror Birthed Pentagon's Biometrics ID System


  • Report
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • Via Steve Inskeep (NPR)
  • 8 February 2021

An interview with Anne Jacobsen, whose book First Platoon questions what the US government means to do with the biometric data gathered by military personnel in Afghanistan

Jacobsen tells NPR how the Defense Department used the Automated Biometrics Identification System, known as Abis, to win the war on terror through biometrics.

“You have iris scans, facial images and, ultimately, DNA that are now all being used by the Defense Department to create catalogs of people all around the world, and also in the United States, who can then be linked to a crime.”

Inskeep highlights how American forces have been gathering biometric data from war zones for years as a way to tell the good guys from the bad, but as Annie Jacobsen argues, it doesn't always work:

I think that dividing people in this manner opens up the door for more division, more polemics and, ultimately, more fighting between different groups of people instead of everybody working together for this common idea that rule of law is actually a great thing for a democratic society

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