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This Is the Real Story of the Afghan Biometric Databases Abandoned to the Taliban

– MIT Technology Review

How Afghanistan’s biometric databases work, and why they now present a danger

In this article, the MIT Technology Review speaks to experts about the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have seized the US Army’s biometric devices. It finds that while these do indeed present a threat, there is a greater risk presented by the Afghan government databases which contain the personal identifying information of every member of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.

“The data is collected ‘from the day they enlisted,’ says one individual who worked on the system, and remains in the system forever, whether or not someone remains actively in service.”

The data includes name, age, and place of birth, and links each person to a biometric profile, as well as containing sensitive information such as the names of male relatives and tribal elders.

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if they looked at the databases and started printing lists based on this... and now are head-hunting former military personnel,’ one individual familiar with the database told us

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