This article was originally published by The Defender – Children’s Health Defense news and opinion website.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) said this month it will invest $200 million in digital ID projects, including “public digital infrastructure, including civil registration databases and digital identification” to help meet the target date of 2030 to reach the United Nations (UN) goal. ) Sustainable Development Goals (ODS).
The $200 million in new funding, part of a global commitment of $1.27 billion from the BMGF in support of “global health and development projects,” is closely linked to SDG target 16.9, for which “the assumes digital identity programs are needed,” Reclaim. the network reported.
The funding comes in addition to several global digital identification initiatives supported by the BMFG, although these initiatives are criticized for violating people’s right to privacy.
Michael Rectenwald, author of “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” said that far from promoting improved digital infrastructure or “global health and development,” digital identity will have more onerous applications.
Rectenwald told The Defender:
“Of all the other means of identifying and tracking subjects, digital identity poses perhaps the most serious technological threat to individual freedom yet conceived.
“It has the potential to track, trace and surveil subjects and compile a comprehensive record of all activity from cradle to grave.”
Rectenwald said these more onerous applications of digital identity are what the BMGF and similar entities find attractive:
“Digital identity will serve as a means of coercion and forced compliance with the outrageous demands of a never-ending vaccine regime.
“It’s no surprise that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding this invasive, rights-abrogating technology, given Gates’ investments, both financially and ideologically, in coercive Neo-Malthusian and possibly pro-eugenics methods.”
Commenting on the $200 million investment, the BMGF said:
“This funding will help expand the infrastructure that low- and middle-income countries can use to become more resilient to crises such as food shortages, public health threats and climate change, as well as to help economic and pandemic recovery”.
In addition, according to the BMGF, this infrastructure “includes tools such as interoperable payment systems, digital identification, data exchange systems and civil registry databases”.
The announcement came during the two-day gatekeeping event in New York City held in conjunction with the annual session of the UN General Assembly and a week after the publication of the ” Goalkeepers Report” of the BMGF for 2022.
The 2022 Gatekeepers Report warned that progress towards achieving most of the SDGs by 2030 is off track, in part due to a myriad of global crises in the past two years reversing the previous progress in achieving the objectives.
The report also highlighted biometrics as one of the technologies needed to achieve the equitable redistribution of wealth and resources in economically developing countries, a goal also included in the SDGs.
Participants at this year’s Goalkeepers event, the first to be held in person since 2019, highlighted the need for a renewed commitment to achieving the SDGs for the 2030 target.
BMGF CEO Mark Suzman said at the event:
“We can get back on track towards the SDGs, but it will take a new level of collaboration and investment from all sectors.
“That’s why our foundation is significantly increasing our commitment to help tackle crises now and ensure long-term impact on critical determinants of health and development.”
Gates, BMGF, Microsoft participate in multiple global digital ID initiatives
Gates invests in digital ID initiatives around the world, not only through the BMGF, but also personally and through Microsoft.
For example, the BMGF is a supporter of MOSIP, an open source digital identification platform based in India.
On its website, MOSIP offers “a robust, scalable and inclusive foundational identity program” and “an open source platform on which national foundational identities are built.”
These platforms, MOSIP claims, help “governments and other user organizations implement a core digital identity system in a cost-effective manner.”
The BMGF is also a partner of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, which in 2018, through its INFUSE (Innovation for Immunization Uptake, Scale and Equity) initiative, championed digital IDs for children:
“Imagine a future where all children have access to life-saving vaccines regardless of where they live, a future where parents and health care workers ensure they are vaccinated on time, a future where they have their own health history stored digitally that cannot be lost or stolen, a future in which, regardless of gender, economic or social status, this record allows every child (and parents) to have access to a bank account, goes to school, access services and ultimately build a prosperous life.
“This future is possible today. With the latest advances in digital technologies enabling more effective ways to register, identify births and issue proof of identity and authentication to access services, we are on the verge of building a healthier and more prosperous future for the world’s most vulnerable children.”
This would be achieved by “calling for innovations that take advantage of new technologies to modernize the process of identifying and registering children who are most in need of life-saving vaccines.”
The INFUSE initiative supports a digital ID for children from the moment they are born, stating that “digital records can make it easier to track a child’s vaccinations and eliminate unnecessary paperwork.”
According to INFUSE, as children grow, “their digital health card can be used to access secondary services, such as elementary school, or facilitate the process of obtaining alternative credentials.”
“The digital health card could, depending on the country’s needs and readiness, potentially become the first step in establishing a legal and widely recognized identity,” INFUSE concluded.
Investigative journalist Leo Hohmann described the initiative as “all about data collection,” which has “nothing to do with health” but instead brings “today’s generation of kids into the blossoming digital identity system “.
Gavi, in turn, works closely with the ID2020 Alliance, founded in 2016, which says it advocates “ethical and privacy-protecting approaches to digital identification,” adding that “doing digital identification right means protecting civil liberties and claims to support “ethical and privacy-protective approaches to digital identification.”
Microsoft is a founding member of the ID2020 alliance (in 2018) and appears to be partnering with it, while ID2020 board chair Kim Gagné is a former Microsoft executive.
Other founding partners of ID2020 include Gavi, the BMGF, the World Bank, Accenture and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Bill Gates also backed Aktivate, a “software-as-a-service” platform that “powers student-athlete administration for more than 1,300 K-12 schools and 1.5 million athletes in 30 states.”
Aktivate recently sparked controversy in a Florida school district that made the platform mandatory for student athlete registration, before withdrawing that requirement.
Gates has come under fire in India for his support and funding of various digital ID schemes there.
For example, on his personal blog, Gates praised Aadhaar, a national digital ID card system launched in 2009, which today is the largest biometric identification system in the world.
Gates described Aadhaar as “a valuable platform for delivering social welfare programs and other government services” and Nandan Nilekani, who developed the Aadhaar system and is now working with the World Bank Group to help other countries develop similar schemes.
Aadhaar ID number was linked to numerous public and private services such as opening bank accounts, verifying voter identity, filing income tax returns, making digital payments, receiving of government pensions, grants and welfare payments and the registration of mobile SIM cards.
Aadhaar sparked controversy in India over government plans to link it to the national voter database and the alleged coercion of HIV patients to submit their Aadhaar numbers, leading them to drop out of the treatment for privacy issues.
Gates has dismissed privacy concerns surrounding Aadhaar, stating that “Aadhaar itself does not pose any privacy concerns because it is only a biological identification verification scheme,” adding that “We [the BMGF] they have funded the World Bank to take this Aadhaar approach to other countries.”
A counterpart to Aadhaar, the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, was launched in 2021, a system that would complement Aadhaar by providing a unique digital health ID to all citizens and linked to their personal health records.
Gates also publicly praised this platform, stating that it will help “ensure accessible and equitable healthcare delivery and accelerate progress on India’s health goals”.
The BMGF gave the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission a grant of $350,690 to support its “implementation and strengthening”, despite concerns about privacy, informed consent and data leakage.
A July 2022 report by New York University’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice titled “Paving the Road to Hell? A Primer on the Role of the World Bank and Global Networks in Promoting Digital ID” specifically linked programs of digital identification such as Aadhaar with “serious and large-scale violations of human rights”.
According to the report, these digital ID programs “may actually exacerbate pre-existing forms of exclusion and discrimination in public and private services” and “in addition, may lead to new forms of harm, such as biometric exclusion, discrimination and the many associated harms”. with surveillance capitalism”.
The report adds that the benefits of digital identification are “poorly defined” and “poorly documented,” and its repercussions can be “severe and potentially irreversible,” adding that the “ultimate goal” of such programs is ” facilitate economic transactions and private sector service delivery while bringing new and poorer people into formal economies and ‘unlocking’ their behavioral data.
The same report also highlighted the role of entities such as the World Bank in promoting digital identification schemes, highlighting wider efforts to continue developing these programs despite the controversy they have generated.
Commenting on the report, Rectenwald said:
“Integrated with a kind of social credit scoring system like the one supposedly in place in China, as well as a vaccine passport, digital identity could serve as the ultimate means of political profiling, to perfect the means of political cancellation that are already a part of Western life”.
This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense news and opinion website under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. Consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.