Rise up against massively applicable biometry

I wrote it repeatedly on this blog, without much effect: putting in place personal devices that can be used to massively check the identity of persons by querying large centralized biometric databases is one of the greatest dangers for freedoms and fundamental rights. I wrote indignantly against biometric passports, then judged that the corrections accepted by the Villepin1 government in 2006 further to a public consultation2 on its electronic ID project were insufficient. I also praised the action of some activists against putting in place biometric ID checks in school restaurants and the support of Louis Joinet to this action3. All of them stressed the fact that the manufacturers of biometric devices have an explicit strategy to trivialize them by introducing them in daily life devices in particular for children.

The present French government has no inhibition. It just proposed to put in place a new ID card combining massively applicable biometry for security purposes and pressures on individuals to accept identity control on the Internet. The new card would have to chips, one for personal identification by security services and the other for on-line services. This last one would be optional, in the sense that one will be able to renounce the “trust” benefits attached to its usage. You have it all in one: installing devices that would have led to the arrest of hundreds of thousands of jews and resistants who survived the second world war only ony because ID documents were falsifiable, and a deep harm to anonymity on the Internet. Private interests and the securitarian State hand in hand. Don’t worry, it’s just for your good, trust them.

If you don’t trust them, don’t stop at wording a vague criticism. If this project is adopted, even in a softened form, one will have to boycott the new ID card, whatever trouble might result from such a boycott. We will be the undocumented aliens of the future.

This post is also available in: French

  1. Prime minister from 2005 to 2007 in France []
  2. The organization conducting this consultation, the Internet Rights Forum was conveniently dissolved by the governement recently. []
  3. Louis Joinet was the first French data protection Commissioner and later UN Commissioner for Human Rights. []

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