MAKING MORE OUT OF GOVERNMENT'S DIGITAL IDENTITY INITIATIVES
Digital identification systems raise important human rights and broader legal considerations with respect to the way information and actions are linked to persons, authenticity is proven, and individual rights and responsibility is determined in systems. Once deployed, digital identification systems can be powerful tools used for techno-social engineering, censorship, exclusion, discrimination, persecution, targeted deployment of social credit systems, torture, and surveillance – all intended to achieve and/or enhance obedience to authority structures.
Unwanted Witness, therefore, is at the forefront of advocating for assessing the human rights implications of the growing corporate and governmental surveillance of the lives of ordinary people. The focus has been majorly been put on the risks posed by digital identification systems to individual privacy, access to private and public services, rights to expression, and freedom of conscience.
Why Litigation over other Advocacy Forms?
We opted for litigation instead of alternative advocacy methods in this particular case due to several factors that we believed would significantly contribute to achieving our desired impact. These factors encompassed the following:
The pursuit of advocacy in this context has encountered numerous barriers and challenges. Among these obstacles are:
Prior to the decision to litigate, Unwanted Witness, in collaboration with the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights, and the Health Equity and Policy Initiative (HEAPI), utilized diverse advocacy tools. These tools encompassed:
Valuable Insights and Lessons
ResourcesReport: Chased Away and Left To Die
About the National ID Litigation Case
Press Statement: Mandatory Digital ID Threatens Lives
Open Letter from CSOs to the World Bank
Non-take-up of rights in the context of social protection
Legal Analysis of Uganda's National ID Legislation
Preliminary Report: Uganda’s Digital ID System, A Cocktail of Discrimination
Policy Brief: Uganda’s Digital Identification Systems and Processes in a protracted crisis