Tunisia's Plans To Bring In Its Own National 'Aadhaar' Biometric ID System Halted — For Now

from the peace-be-with-you dept

The last time that Techdirt wrote about Tunisia was back in 2011, when the Internet helped bring about a major regime change there. Although violent protests against the government have flared up recently, in general, the processes that are being applied to shift national policies in Tunisia are both peaceful and successful. Here, for example, is some good news from Access Now on the privacy front:

This week the people of Tunisia won a major victory for privacy: the dangerous biometric ID card proposal has officially been withdrawn from consideration in the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP).

We worked hard with our partners at Al Bawsala to oppose passage of the bill, including encouraging members of the assembly to adopt a set of key amendments to ensure that if it did pass, the bill would protect citizens’ data and their right to consult and rectify their own information. Over the past week, we spent hours talking to assembly members, highlighting the dangers of pushing the bill through without adding necessary and vital protections for Tunisians’ privacy and data security.

It worked! The assembly members advanced the amendments that we proposed, and nearly all were adopted within the Consensus Commission. The Ministry of the Interior, which had pushed hard to pass the bill without these important safeguards, dropped the proposal entirely.

That’s particularly welcome at a time when the problems of India’s biometric ID card system “Aadhaar” are becoming all-too clear. However, as Access Now rightly notes:

Even though we’re overjoyed, we must remain vigilant. We could see this proposal revived. If that happens, we will continue working to ensure that any new legislation protects human rights.

Let’s hope Tunisia’s democratic legislative processes continue to function as effectively as they have in this particular case, and that the country does not end up with another Aadhaar.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Tunisia's Plans To Bring In Its Own National 'Aadhaar' Biometric ID System Halted — For Now”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Speaking of Aadhaar...

…there are as-yet-unconfirmed reports that — for the right price — modifications can be made to the data. I caught wind of this less than 24 hours ago, and preliminary attempts to verify it have failed. But it comes from reliable sources, e.g., people who are consistently vile, dishonest and corrupt, and so might well be expected to be early adopters of a new business model.

1. I hope it’s not true. 2. It’s probably true. 3. If it’s true, then Aadhaar must be shut down and dismantled, because this is not a recoverable situation.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »