Russian government looking to mine biometric data from 70 million citizens by 2023

2021-03-11

Despite the fact that the programme for the collection of biometric data from Russian citizens was launched more than two years ago, only 164,000 citizens voluntarily shared information with the state. Meanwhile, in the next two years, the authorities intend to increase this amount to 70 million, “Kommersant” reports. All data will be entered into the current Unified Biometric System (UBS). The publication reports that in the future the government is able to restrict remote access to some public and government services in the absence of biometrics and will continue collecting citizens data not only through banks but also using the MFC Public Service Centres (MultiFunctional Centers) and a special mobile application. It seems that our bourgeoise Russian state intends to build a new Orwellian freak show.

Three trusted insiders report to Kommersant, that the issue of the UBS’s work was raised at a meeting on February 26 at the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media. Officials plans are to “solve by administrative measures” the problem of insufficiently low rates of biometrics data collection. So, the option of collecting biometrics at the MFCs was discussed. Over the next two years, the authorities plan to expand the list of biometric “casts” of Russians in the UBS to 70 million – that is how many profiles have been confirmed in “Gov Services” online portal today.

In addition, Rostelecom is already developing a special mobile application for collecting biometric data. So, citizens will be able to pay for goods and services on NFC and Apple Pay via “Face Unlock”, go to public events, remotely take exams at universities, use the services of a notary, conclude contracts with mobile operators and so on.

At the moment, only banks can collect data in the EBS, and 228 credit institutions are engaged in this. Sberbank, for example, collects biometrics not only for adults but also for schoolchildren. The Central Bank already has a draft document obliging all licensed banks to organize the collection of biometrics in at least 80% of offices in settlements with more than a thousand residents.

The authorities have a lot of ideas regarding the application of the UBS. By the beginning of 2024, at least 12 airports will begin to identify passengers by their biometric data. By 2030, the share of passengers who will be served using UBS data will reach 30% – that is, the system will cover about 60 airports.

Big Brother is stepping up the onslaught – we have already written about “what technology has come to” in identifying protesters at public events. In early February, the police came knocking at the homes of citizens caught by the face recognition system who attended rallies in support of Navalny.

There is not much time left – in a few years, the state will be able to collect all kinds of data on citizens. Modern neural networks show miracles even in the field of prediction of personal interests of Internet users. Unfortunately, the current situation does not bode well for opposition-minded organizations and parties. However, forewarned is forearmed. The task of communists at this stage is to study and test the most effective ways to protect themselves on the Internet and on the street. No data collected by the state authorities for the purpose of additional protection should come as an unpleasant surprise for a communist.