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How Financial Surveillance in the Name of Counter-Terrorism Fuels Social Exclusion

– Privacy International

  • Viewpoint
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • 13 March 2020

An examination of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), its recommendations for governments and businesses around digital identity, and how they affect privacy and human rights across the globe

This article demonstrates how the FATF’s recommendations open opportunities for social exclusion and government hacking, while it uncritically supports examples of bad ID such as Aadhaar. It also warns of FATF’s use of data to detect financial crime:

“Given the tiny amount of illicit financial flows that are detected, the danger is that using data and analytics in this context may reinforce existing bias in historical data whilst ignoring genuine criminality that doesn’t ‘fit the mould’.”

The article states that it is worrying for human rights that the work of the FATF happens away from the public eye, and that it must be closely monitored.

The systems that the FATF celebrates involve significant interferences with rights, as exemplified in the India's Aadhaar. No identity scheme is truly universal, and it will always lead to some exclusions. Furthermore, given the scope of ID systems, they result in exclusion in areas beyond that of financial services, like health and education

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