Authorities cannot guarantee safety of citizens' biometric data

Yaroslav Bogdanov, Сhairman of the Board of the Fund for Protection of Investors' Rights in Foreign States

"The main threat to society is leakage of information from electronic, digital storages. Governments are moving quickly to push people to use digital services. And this is a problem not only for Russia, but for the whole world. All digital conveniences can eventually become a problem for citizens, if control over the digitalized system is in the hands of governments." Yaroslav Bogdanov, Chairman of the Board of the Fund for Protection of Investors' Rights in Foreign States, expressed this opinion in an interview with the Foreign Economic Relations Agency.

On Wednesday, Natalya Kasperskaya, chairman of the board of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Association of Software Developers "Domestic Software", President of InfoWatch, advised citizens not to trust authorities and not submit biometric data until at least the safety against theft is guaranteed.

According to her, companies must explain how they are going to protect biometric data from hacking, whilst authorities do not fully understand what the risks of digital services are. So she reacted to the proposal of the Ministry of Digital Science to expand the scope of the Unified Biometric System in 2021, saying that some authorities want to drive people towards digitalization. This, in her opinion, threatens the formation of the shadow power of IT specialists, digital clerks and their bosses.

— The world recently experienced a failure of Facebook and other messengers which served as a great example that almost half of the world’s population can be disconnected from the Internet in an instant. Another problem is industrial espionage. Citizens' data can be stolen, and it is not so important in what way it will be stolen, the main issue is that it will be used in the interests of fraudsters, — explained Yaroslav Bogdanov.

He noted that in today’s reality information has long become a great resource, and the one who controls it — holds a powerful weapon in his hands. And purposes for which it will be used by him is a serious question.

—Such a digital model has already been created in some countries, but in those states, it is held by the public. However, it is possible that it will be seized by private digital giants who then will be able to alienate power from the state. And this can be seen in the example of recent failures in Facebook and other services.

In my opinion, the only way to solve the above stated issues is to create independent international platforms uniting active members of society around the world. The system should be under the control of citizens, not governments. It is this concept that underlies work of Global Digital Alliance — International Alliance of Visionaries of the Digital World.

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