Collection of biometric personal data, creation of a national video monitoring system, and other privacy-related matters in the proposed national law on digital technologies.
Alignment of Legal and Digital Realities
Digital technologies are indeed the most important component of today’s society. Kazakhstan is up-scaling its capacities to implement these technologies in economic, social and other areas. However, the gap between technological innovations and laws regulating these technologies is arguably one of the core reasons underpinning legal uncertainty in shaping uniform digital landscape.
On August 17, 2019, the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Airspace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan made the proposed law On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan regarding Regulation of Digital Technologies available on the e-government web-site for public discussion. *
The new law proposes amendments to a broad list of regulations, including the codes, covering social regulations in the field of digital technologies . However, the purpose of this paper is to review novelties proposed in the new law concerning legal aspects of personal identification through the use of biometric data and National Video Surveillance System (NVSS) that will be discussed below through the lens of privacy protection in digital media.
Is National Biometric Initiative a Legal Grey Zone?
Biometric Identification Initiative is gaining momentum in Kazakhstan. For the security, facilitation and development of digital services, including public, social and commercial services, a remote identification model based, among other things, on various biometric indicants will be developed. The model is expected to identify clients through a database of public and commercial companies, and provide services to the authorities, business and social sector (education, healthcare, census, etc.).
Biometric systems are designed to identify a person by biological and physiological characteristics, such as fingerprints, iris, face, DNA, etc. Looking ahead, it should be noted that the national personal data protection legislation does not contain any legal grounds for the collection of biometric data through the advanced biometric technologies, such as face recognition.
The proposed law On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan regarding Regulation of Digital Technologies is a step towards implementation of Digital Kazakhstan Program which, among others, envisages a digital identification mechanism, and according to the law developers it will become a fundamental infrastructure conducive to the creation of a uniform digital landscape for the interaction and communication among financial institutions, clients, authorities and business and will reliably raise the level and efficiency of financial, public and other services.*
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