Biometric-based identification systems and democracy

In September, 2017, Scroll, in collaboration with the Centre for Communication Governance, published our data on biometric-based identification systems across the world, and their correlation with a country’s democratic record. Our data demonstrates a reciprocity between these factors:

“While examining whether countries were instituting these Aadhaar-like systems, researchers from the Centre noticed a trend wherein nations with strong biometric identity systems were less likely to have robust democratic governments…

…So they sought to map out their research, based on data collected primarily from countries within the Commonwealth, measured against their positions on Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy index. The results show a cluster of nations with less freedoms also instituting a biometric system, while others higher up the democracy index do not have similar identity programmes.”

The original piece published on can be found here. Graphs representing the data set can be found below.


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