Thursday, September 9, 2010

Biometric Database of Iraqi Citizens: Do We Hand it Over?

The United States has a huge database of biometric information on Iraqi citizens.  The biometric data contains fingerprints, iris scans, photographs and other personal information to include names, occupation, home of record, etc.  Some of the individuals in the database are suspects or known insurgents.  Others were employees of the U.S. military who worked on the many large military bases scattered across the Iraq countryside.  Still more are just average citizens who had their biometric data collected randomly.

The question remains - as the Iraq war concludes - about what to do with this database.  At least 7% of the Iraqi population has their biometric information collected.  Given the history of Arab countries and the lack of democratic processes found in that part of the world this is a scary situation - especially for those who are in the database.  The use of this large biometric database will likely lead to wide scale abuse by the Iraqi government.  Read a recent news article on this topic - "Worries about US data on Iraqis", The Boston Globe, August 31, 2010.

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