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Mauritius: Storing Biometric Data on Identity Cards Violates Privacy

– UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR)

  • Report
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • 20 August 2021

How radio frequency identification (RIFD) technology is compromising biometric data in Mauritius

The UN Human Rights Committee has found that the Mauritius government’s identity cards are violating privacy due to the lack of safeguards in place for the RIFD storage. The case was brought to the UN by a 67-year old national, M.M, after being rejected by the Supreme Court.

"The Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that even though there was expert evidence showing that biometric data retention was insecure and notoriously difficult to protect, the new ID card requirements had been made 'in the interests of public order'. "

The Committee took note of the evidence provided by M.M. - that because the biometric data is stored using RIFD technology, it can be easily copied, which led to the Committee calling on Mauritius' government to review its storage of biometric data.

The expert explained that the biometric data can be copied, without physical contact of the card and without the card holder’s knowledge, with RFID readers that can easily be bought online

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