UN body finds new Mauritian ID card violates privacy

The UN Human Rights Committee has found that Mauritius’ new identity card laws violate privacy rights.

The findings were made after a Mauritian citizen sought the committee’s help after the highest court ruled that the new laws were “in the interest of public order”.

The 2013 National Identity Card Act requires every citizen to apply for a new identity card that carries fingerprints and biometric data in a microchip.

Maharajah Madhewoo had expressed concerns over data safety and violation of privacy rights.

He had taken the government to court and the supreme court in 2015 ruled that even though there was expert evidence showing the data retention was insecure and difficult to protect, it was necessary for public order.

The government had introduced the requirements to prevent fraudsters from obtaining fake documents.

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