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The Taliban Reportedly Have Control of US Biometric Devices

Alarming reports have emerged that indicate the Taliban has access to biometric data collected by the US to track Afghans, including those who worked for US and coalition forces. The insurgents could not only potentially access the data, but they also have obtained access to some biometric devices as well. Afghans who once supported the US have been attempting to hide or destroy all physical and digital evidence of their identities to protect themselves and their families from the wrath of the Taliban. However, many now fear that the identity documents and databases storing personally identifiable data, including biometric data, could be transformed into death warrants.

The potential data breach is a warning that data protection in zones of conflict is incredibly difficult and may become a matter of life and death. The biometric data is now a huge data privacy and security risk and could put thousands of Afghans in harm’s way. Investigative journalist Annie Jacobson recently documented the idea of biometric-driven warfare in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense has referred to the situation as identity dominance and views it as the cornerstone of multiple different counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies. 

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OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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