In the aftermath of the Taliban’s control in Kabul and the removal. From Kabul’s Afghan nation’s government on August 20, 2021 alarming reports. Revealed that rebels could have access to biometric information collected in US authorities. U.S. to track Afghans as well as those who employed by U.S. and coalition forces.
Afghans who used to support those who supported the U.S. have been attempting to cover up. Or erase evidence both digital and physical of their identity. Many Afghans worry that identities documents and databases that contain personal information could become death warrants. By the hands of the Taliban and, in the March 30th 2022 report by Human Rights Watch indicated. The Taliban have collecting biometric information in order to match it with databases. That have seized by the U.S. and Afghan government databases. U.S. military devices and the information they hold have discovered on the market.
This data breach highlights the fact that protecting data in areas of conflict, particularly biometric information and databases. That link online activities to physical locations could be the difference between life or death. My research and that of privacy activists and journalists who study biometric surveillance foresaw the security and privacy dangers.
Biometric-Driven Warfare Control
The investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen documented the birth of biometric-driven combat in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September. 11, 2001 through her novel First Platoon. The U.S. Department of Defense rapidly embraced biometric data and what it termed identity dominance. As the base of numerous counterinsurgency and counterterrorism strategies. Identity dominance the ability to track those who considered by the military to be to be a threat. Regardless of their aliases, ultimately hindering organizations from being able to cover up their actions.
In 2004 there thousands of U.S. military personnel had taught to collect biometric data in order to aid in the fight against Afghanistan as well as Iraq. In 2007 U.S. forces were collecting biometric information mainly using mobile devices like those that use the Biometric Automated Toolkit (BAT) along with the Handheld Interagency Identification Detection Equipment (HIIDE). BAT is a laptop, finger reader and iris scanner, and camera. HIIDE is a small device that includes an camera, and iris scanner. The users of these devices are able to take iris scans, fingerprint scans, as well as facial pictures and match them to entries in military databases as well as biometric watchlists.
Alongside biometric information The system also includes the biographic and context data control, like terrorist and criminal watchlists, which allows users to determine whether the person identified in the system as suspects. Intelligence analysts are also able to utilize the system to keep track of individuals’ movements and activities through tracking biometric data collected by soldiers on the ground.
Department Of Defense Control
In 2011, just 10 years after the attacks In 2011, a decade after 9/11, the Department of Defense maintained approximately 4.8 million biometric data records of people living in Afghanistan and Iraq and Iraq, including 630,000 of them collected through HIIDE devices. In addition, at the time it known that there evidence that U.S. Army and its military partners in the Afghan government used biometric-enabled information or biometric cyber intelligence in the field to locate and track militants.
In 2013 in 2013, in 2013, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps utilized an instrument called the Biometric enrollment and screening Device that used to enroll the fingerprints, iris scans and digital facial photographs from persons of interest in Afghanistan. The device replaced with the Identity Dominance Systems-Marine Corps in the year 2017, which utilizes a laptop equipped with sensors for biometric data collection, referred to by the name of Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit.
Through the years, in order to help achieve these objectives in the past, to achieve these goals, the Department of Defense aimed to establish a biometric database for 80 percent of the Afghan population, roughly 32 million at present’s number of people. It’s not clear how close the military was to accomplishing this target.
More Data Equals More People At Risk
Alongside the use of biometric information used by military personnel of the U.S. and Afghan military to protect themselves. And for security purposes, it also adopted by the Department of Defense and the Afghan government. Later took the biometrics for a variety of day-to-day use by the government. They included evidence to prosecute criminals, allowing Afghan employees of employment and security for elections.
Furthermore to that, it also discovered that the Afghan National ID system and voter registration databases. Held sensitive information, such as ethnicity information. In addition, the Afghan ID, referred to as the e-Tazkira is an electronic identification document. That has biometric data which can increase the risk to privacy posed by Taliban having access to National ID system.
We don’t know the extent to which Taliban have obtained access to biometric data. That was once held in the hands of the U.S. military. According to one report, the Taliban might not have access to the biometric information. Collected by HIIDE due to their lack of technological capability to access it. However, the Taliban might seek out longtime allies Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, to help get into the information. As with many intelligence agencies of the national level, ISI likely has the needed technology.
Another report stated it was reported that Taliban control have already begun to deploy an biometrics machine. To conduct house-to-house inspections to identify former Afghan officials and security forces. This is in line with previous Afghan news reports. Which detailed the Taliban forcing bus passengers to biometric testing. And using biometric information to identify Afghan security forces to kidnap and kill.