Consultation response for ID4D on the Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development

In March 2020, Privacy International responded to a consultation response for the World Bank's ID4D initiative's Principles on Identification for Development, offering an analysis of the principles themselves and also how they fit within the international debate on identification. We provided 12 main recommendations.

Key advocacy points
  • Principles become meaningless unless we know how they are applied, so we must know how the World Bank applies these principles in practice. It must also be looked at whether the principles should remain within ID4D's 'ownership'.
  • The principles should avoid concepts like 'unique' identities, as well as the use of 'unique identifiers' like ID numbers.
  • The need for a transparent, democratic process when deploying these systems must be emphasised.
Consultation cover of our ID4D report

Privacy International welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the consultation on the Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development. Valuable lessons have been learnt, particularly in the last few years, on the serious consequences of identity systems. We have seen challenges in court that have found that key provisions of these systems are incompatible with the right to privacy enshrined in constitutions. We have seen civil society organisations highlighting the serious risks of exclusion and discrimination that emerge. Valuable lessons have become clear, and PI is available to provide the information the World Bank needs to ensure these are reflected in the Principles. At the same time, developments in this space also raise questions as the relationship of the World Bank to the Principles, and how they can be used to create a future where these systems are compatible and promote human rights.

We provided 12 main recommendations on how the Principles should be improved, and the ways in which they can become an effective touchstone for developments in this sector.