Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Biometrics destabilise Somaliland

If you think we've got it bad, then consider Somaliland. Private Eye printed a letter from Hargeisa (the capital):

Somaliland is the only place in the Horn of Africa that is democratic, stable and tolerant ... our record of closely contested polls compares pretty well with our neighbours. Our friends faraway nevertheless thought that what we really needed was a state of the art biometric finger printing and facial recognition system to compile a voter's roll ...

Alas, this model of donor co-operation has somewhat underperformed. Presidential elections have been postponed four times now and are 18 months late, and now we have the prospect of civil war as our politicians cannot agree on a way forward.

If you then link to the Somaliland Globe you find an article telling the whole sorry tale:

Procedures were not carefully planned and implemented and as a result the data of hundreds of thousands of people i.e. finger prints, photos and other personal details were either missing or accidentally or deliberately deleted; the server that was meant to process the images and fingerprints to detect double votes still lacks properly trained and knowledgeable people to operate it.....

Surely it couldn't happen here?

No comments: