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Immutable data being used for mass murder at scale

If we've been looking at the pattern of data misuse, this shouldn't really come as a surprise as dark and sad as it is. The worst aspect is that this regards immutable biometric data. What has happened is that amidst the US Retreat from Afghanistan, a lot of biometric data[1] has been left in the hands of the Taliban, so they can easily identify, target and cull, kill or torture any people who were allied with the Americans[2]. Although it's a plain betrayal of the Americans to their allies. It's also a plain example of bad info-sec.

I mentioned before that it's a pattern. Originally in Nazi Germany, census information was used for rounding up Jews. The issue here is it's not particularly immutable, and not perfect targeting information. This is akin to using crime statistics of different races and locations to position and prepare Police in various areas of a city for most effectiveness(pragmatic, even if not uniform or particulary fair). The issue expands, when one sees that corporations sell data for a profit, and this data is used for murder[3]. This issue includes anonymised data as seen rather recently by Christian Gayhunters hunting Gay Christians[4] in their midst, and finding data that points to a bishop being gay(circumstantially of course. I didn't look further to see if they had direct evidence to substantiate their claims).

Although in the case for the Afghans, this immutable data was likely given for their Visa program(which the Americans clearly didn't follow through on) although this is just conjecture as I don't know the details. What's more pressing is when this will be applied to commercially obtained biometric data. I do expect the next logical step in data abuses to be from commercially sold biometric data, or "legally" obtained by intelligence agencies in their country. Commercially sold? Yes. People go out of their way to willingly provide their identifying data simply to know their ancestry... except it's not really their ancestry. It's just a pie chart of percentages showing how much race mixing has happened(in a quite literal sense here. It gives a percentage of how much you originate from some country and how much with another country).

It's ultimately rather demoralising to see another in a series of data abuses, especially as a lot of it is avoidable.

=> [1] Taliban likely have biometric data
=> [2] Betrayal by US forces to their afghan allies.
=> [3] The corporate surveillance machine is killing people
=> [4] Bishop caught for being gay via anonymised data

Published on 2021/08/17

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