New ID2020 Project to Build Biometric ID Program Around Infant Immunization

“The project will involve the exploration of multiple biometric identification technologies for infants, with the aim of building a biometric ID program based on the most successful approaches.”

New ID2020 Project to Build Biometric ID Program Around Infant Immunization

ID2020, a public-private alliance aimed at supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal on universal identity, has announced a new identity project in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and Gavi, a public-private alliance concerned with vaccination.

The project’s aim is essentially to create a biometric identity system based on immunization efforts conducted by Access to Information (A2I) – a Government of Bangladesh agency – and the Directorate of Health Service (DGHS), with the support of Gavi. The project will involve the exploration of multiple biometric identification technologies for infants, with the aim of building a biometric ID program based on the most successful approaches.

“We are implementing a forward-looking approach to digital identity that gives individuals control over their own personal information, while still building off existing systems and programs,” explained A2I policy advisor Anir Chowdhury in a statement announcing the collaborative effort. “The Government of Bangladesh recognizes that the design of digital identity systems carries far-reaching implications for individuals’ access to services and livelihoods, and we are eager to pioneer this approach.”

Such ideas echo those of the United Nations’ refugee agency, the UNHCR, which has in recent years championed the use of biometric technology to deliver official ID to those who often lack such documentation, such as displaced persons. And Gavi’s leadership are excited about expanding on the anticipated success of this effort.

“Eighty-nine percent of children and adolescents without identification live in countries supported by Gavi,” commented Gavi CEO Seth Berkley. “We are enthusiastic about the potential impact of this program not just in Bangladesh, but as something we can replicate across Gavi-eligible countries, providing a viable route to closing the identity gap.”

The project was announced at ID2020’s annual summit this week, with previous events having seen other major organizations such as Accenture and Microsoft commit to biometrics-driven identity projects in support of UN goals.

September 19, 2019 – by Alex Perala