Source: Thomson Reuters
By Kim Harrisberg
JOHANNESBURG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Plans to photograph and fingerprint every baby born in South Africa for a digital register could lead to data leaks and identity theft without robust safeguards, rights experts said on Thursday.
The Department of Home Affairs’ new draft policy aims to capture detailed biometrics – unique physical traits – of every child born in South Africa and link this data to parents’ identity numbers, which are printed on all ID documents.
The government hopes the new registration system will prevent corrupt officials selling birth certificates to foreigners to illegally secure South African citizenship and protect children who otherwise risk going undocumented.