By Ken Macon
The digital era, with its myriad of innovations, has ushered in a wave of conveniences – but at what cost? The recent advocacy by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the Modular Open-Source Identification Platform (MOSIP) will now be under scrutiny by privacy advocates, questioning the broader implications of such a global digital identification system.
The Seattle-based Gates Foundation, guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, has actively endorsed MOSIP’s undertakings with a sizable $10 million pledge.
The Foundation’s aim seems to focus on propelling a universal digital identification framework, especially targeting low to middle-income economies. But as history has shown, with such advancements often come potential pitfalls, particularly regarding personal privacy.
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The MOSIP initiative, although modeled after India’s controversial state digital ID (Aadhaar) system initiated in 2009, prompts a plethora of concerns.
While Aadhaar spurred global interest, the unique challenges faced by different countries meant that many had to grapple with potentially expensive and less transparent commercial systems, resulting in “vendor lock-in” and potential misuse of user data.
MOSIP, since its inception in 2018, presents itself as a remedy to these challenges, promoting its accessibility and adaptability to different nations.
While the Philippines led in its adoption, 11 countries, predominantly from Africa, have followed suit. However, with over 90 million digital IDs already distributed across the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Morocco, the magnitude of data collection and the potential risks associated with breaches or misuse become alarmingly evident.
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Sourced from The Free Thought Project
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