Skip to content

Bill Gates is asking everyone to “prove their identity” with a global digital ID system

Bill Gates is asking everyone to “prove their identity” with a global digital ID system

Bill Gates, the billionaire “philanthropist” and co-founder of Microsoft, is urging countries around the world to adopt his “digital ID” plan, with the goal of allowing everyone to “prove their identity.”

On Twitter/X, he highlighted that “850 million people” around the world still “don’t have identification that proves their identity.”

850 million people do not have an ID that proves their identity. As a result, they are left out of many services that could change their lives.

That’s why I’m so excited about MOSIP, an open source technology that could tear down barriers around the world. #G20India

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) August 21, 2023

He championed the Modular Open Source Identification Platform (MOSIP) as a global solution to provide digital IDs for everyone. Gates sees MOSIP as an “inclusive approach” to a “global digital identification system,” calling it “a formidable solution” to “dismantle the barriers” facing countless people without proper identification.

After that, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $10 million in MOSIP. In addition, the Gates Foundation collaborates with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations to promote this technology.

The main goal of the Gates Foundation is to advance a universal digital identification system. Although the initial argument is for low- and middle-income countries, the vision is global. However, MOSIP faces criticism from privacy experts.

There are reservations about the wider ramifications of such an extensive digital ID system. Historically, technological progress has sometimes been a double-edged sword, especially when it comes to privacy. Concerns also arise about possible social exclusion for those who do not adopt the system or are blocked by it.

The inspiration behind MOSIP appears to be India’s digital state ID, Aadhaar, introduced in 2009. Despite global interest in Aadhaar, its challenges prompted countries to consider potentially costly and opaque commercial systems, leading to issues such as “supplier lock-in” and potential data. misuse

Emerging in 2018, MOSIP addresses these concerns, emphasizing its adaptability to different nations. Gates, the UN and supporters of MOSIP label it the “inclusive” solution. The Philippines pioneered its adoption, with 11 African nations joining. To date, more than 90 million digital IDs have been issued in the Philippines, Ethiopia and Morocco.

However, big data collection presents obvious risks. Customizing MOSIP for each nation means managing huge amounts of personal data. With an ecosystem of more than 80 vendors, data breach vulnerabilities are growing. Although MOSIP offers training and certification, managing multiple vendors poses data security challenges. The goal of registering one billion people in the next ten years only adds to these concerns.

The Gates Foundation sees digital identities as crucial to developing digital public infrastructure (DPI). Proponents of DPI believe in its potential for economic growth. But, privacy threats cannot be minimized. If the digital ID becomes mandatory for daily tasks, it could exclude those who do not comply with the regulations. For example, a social media mishap can deny someone access to public transportation.

Reports indicate that global entities such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) have been promoting “cashless societies” and the “advantages” of digital ID. The UN even suggests linking digital IDs to bank accounts, similar to the WEF system. According to three UN policy notes, the aim is to support the future “vision” of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which will be adopted in September 2024 at the “Summit for the Future”.

The report says: “Digital IDs linked to banking can improve social protection delivery. They could reduce program errors, costs and inefficiencies.”

In addition, the WEF recently partnered with biometrics company Fingerprint Cards to boost its digitization efforts. Fingerprint Cards has joined the community of new WEF champions. WEF emphasizes biometric digital identification for ‘social inclusion’.

*” Indicates mandatory fields

This article contains comments that reflect the opinion of the author.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *