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France to be the first European country to use face biometrics for national digital IDs

Monday 7 October 2019 11:41 CET | News

Bloomberg has announced that the French Interior Ministry will deploy facial recognition for enrollment into its national digital identification program, called Alicem.

With this announcement, France becomes the first European country to use face biometrics tech for a secure digital identity. The French president is eager to set up the program in November 2019, however, CNIL, France’s data regulator, is concerned the program violates the European rule of consent guaranteed by EU’s GDPR. Concerns state that it breaches privacy, and it opens up a major security risk, because it will be installed at the ‘highest, state level’.

France wants to follow in the footsteps of other countries that introduced biometric technology to create ID systems and authorise citizens to securely access taxes, bank information, social security, and utility bills. Moreover, the Interior Ministry claims its system will be nothing like the programs adopted in China and Singapore that are used for surveillance, nor will it integrate biometric data into the identity databases. The institution claims that once the enrollment process is finalised, the data is deleted.


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Keywords: France, face biometrics, enrollment, national digital ID, identity, data regulator, GDPR, privacy breaches, security, bills, biometric data
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Countries: World