Brazil halts social security biometric project
06 September 2019 16:23 GMT

Brazilian consumer protection agency IDEC has said Dataprev, the data processing company for social security agency INSS, cannot go ahead with plans for the acquisition of facial recognition and biometric technology.

INSS had wanted to introduce biometrics to reduce false claims, where relatives of deceased people continue to receive their benefits, reported BnAmericas.  

But IDEC has said Dataprev must first address the "systematic data leaks that have been taking place for years" within the social security system. It added that the data belonging to over 34 million Brazilians, often vulnerable citizens, has been often used for fraud purposes and for credit agencies to offer their products illegally.

“It is unreasonable to implement technology that uses sensitive data without the citizen being assured that such data will be treated securely and will not be leaked to companies with abusive or even illegal practices,” said IDEC’s digital rights coordinator, Diogo Moyses.

INSS and Dataprev have opened internal investigation processes to look into the leaks but they have been inconclusive so far.

The government argues that facial recognition and biometric technology will mean that beneficiaries would not have to visit bank and social security agencies in person for verification processes, which would especially benefit those with mobility problems.

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