UN Launches Best Practices Guide for Biometrics in Counter-Terrorism

“It’s meant to help UN members cooperate with each other and police organizations like Interpol, which has been calling for the increased sharing of biometric intelligence – and recently raised alarm among civil rights advocates with its own voice identification system designed to trawl criminal databases and social media accounts.”

Multifactor BiometricsThe United Nations is taking measures to bring a bit of oversight to the expanding use of biometrics in the fight against terrorism, launching a reference guide called the “United Nations Compendium of Recommended Practices for the Responsible Use & Sharing of Biometrics in Counter Terrorism”. The guide was launched the High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies held June 29.

It’s the product of a collaboration between the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Biometrics Institute, which put together an international team of experts from a number of fields including law enforcement, border control, privacy and data protection, and so on. It’s meant to help UN members cooperate with each other and police organizations like Interpol, which has been calling for the increased sharing of biometric intelligence – and recently raised alarm among civil rights advocates with its own voice identification system designed to trawl criminal databases and social media accounts.

In a statement announcing the new reference guide, the Biometrics Institute explained that it “provides technical implementation considerations and good practice guidance, including the need to protect privacy and personal data, and highlights the importance of understanding the potential for error in the collection of biometric data.”

The Biometrics Institute also indicated that the next phase of its collaboration with the CTED will entail regional workshops, “starting with high priority countries that most need to start adopting biometric technologies.”

July 3, 2018 – by Alex Perala