Missing BVDs may compromise personal data of registered voters – Political Scientist cites concerns

Radio Univers
Radio Univers
3 Min Read

Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana, Dr. Seidu Alidu,  has expressed great concerns over missing biometric devices, citing the potential compromise of personal data of registered voters in the process.

In a recent parliamentary meeting, concerns were raised regarding the disappearance of seven biometric devices, as acknowledged by the Electoral Commission (EC). Minority Leader of parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson emphasized the potential threat to the integrity of the upcoming elections if the issue remains unresolved.

In an exclusive interview with Univers News, Dr. Alidu highlighted the risks of compromising personal data, potential voter disenfranchisement, and the misuse of data for electoral manipulation following the likelihood of the missing Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs).

“I think the disappearance of the seven of the biometric devices, if it’s true, can compromise the personal data of the voter that may be captured in that particular devices and could eventually disenfranchise them. Because the material captures not only your name, but it also captures your family history, and your fingerprints. If it’s missing, people can use this data to cause trouble to impersonate other people, too, to actually compromise their personal security in a way.”

The political scientist proposed measures to manage the situation, which would allow affected individuals to re-register safely, in case the missing devices are not recovered.

“In case those devices are open, I suspect they, they could have a backup. If you do not have a backup for that data, that would be unfortunate. But if there is, the details of those people who are missing can be retrieved or ascertained, then those people should be given an opportunity to register again or as part of the maybe limited restriction that be conducted so that they will not be disenfranchised.”

He further called on the EC, security agencies, and other electoral stakeholders to address the issue effectively and enhance security measures to protect critical national assets like biometric data.

The disappearance of seven biometric devices ahead of the election has sparked significant concerns about data security and potential voter disenfranchisement with many calling for urgent action to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.

Concurrently, the EC has refuted claims of any missing BVDs. The EC clarified that rather than the claimed missing biometric devices, the devices that were lost included certain laptops which were used in the electoral processes for certain procedures. The commission further assured registered voters that their biometric data were not at risk of compromise, as the missing laptops did not possess any such data that could pose a threat to their security.

Story by: Grace Afetsrom | univers.ug.edu.gh

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