A Guide to Litigating Identity Systems: Impact of identity systems on rights other than privacy
This section sets out arguments on rights other than privacy, namely liberty, dignity, and equality. It provides detail on the social and economic exclusion and discrimination that can result from the design or implementation of identity systems.
While identity systems pose grave dangers to the right to privacy, based on the particularities of the design and implementation of the ID system, they can also impact upon other fundamental rights and freedoms upheld by other international human rights instruments including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights such as the right to be free from unlawful discrimination, the right to liberty, the right to dignity, and the right to equality.
The risks of exclusion – which implicates a variety of rights ranging from civil and political rights such as the right to stand for and hold office as well as socio-economic rights such as the right to food and the right to education– are exacerbated in biometric identity systems due to authentication failures, with heightened impacts on marginalised and vulnerable groups, particularly in developing countries with weak legal frameworks. Systems which are created with a goal of providing legal identity and furthering social, economic and financial inclusion become the basis for exclusion from access to goods and services, denial of fundamental human rights, leading to complete disenfranchisement of the individual. Thus, it is crucial that the decision to adopt an identity system is informed by the grave concerns that have been highlighted in the judgments on identity systems
This section of the guide sets out arguments on rights other than privacy, namely liberty, dignity, and equality, and also provides detail on the social and economic exclusion and discrimination that can result from the design or implementation of identity systems.