Human Rights Committee finds Mauritius Biometric ID a violation to privacy

The Human Rights Committee has found that the National Identity Card Act of Mauritius (2013) violates privacy rights, as there are no sufficient guarantees that the biometric data stored on the identity card will be securely protected. This follows a complaint filed by a Mauritian national, MM on the grounds that the law violated privacy. MM had taken the Mauritius government to court over the smart ID project, but the highest court of Mauritius had found that the digital ID project was in public interest. 

MM then turned to the Human Rights Committee, arguing that his country’s smart ID project violated the privacy provisions under Mauritius’s Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Notably, Mauritius did not respond to the claim. The Committee reviewed evidence tendered by MM to Mauritius courts and found that the government of Mauritius had not provided sufficient information on measures taken to protect the biometric data stored on identity cards.