Criminal History Check Software Tasdeeq Raises Privacy Concerns

According to DAWN News, the Tasdeeq Pakistan app’s database includes domestic, industrial, and corporate workers, as well as thousands of blue-collar employees from various businesses, whose data may be validated prior to a new appointment. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Sindh police and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC). According to a CPLC spokesperson,

“this verification process would help families and businesses identify offenders as well as protect themselves safe from crimes by giving police with this data.” “Services like Tasdeeq Pakistan could play a big role in lowering domestic and industrial worker crime if the police get the information quickly enough.

Within seconds, the system allows for the authentication of an entire staff, which could number in the thousands. “With this platform, households and businesses can quickly and easily authenticate their whole workforce,” said Ahmedyar Janjua, co-founder of the Safe Pakistan Welfare Trust (SPWT).
The service was originally intended for ordinary households, but it has since been expanded to the corporate sector with great success.

The country’s biggest food delivery company registered more than 6,000 individuals and identified over 50 people with previous criminal records.

“Over 6,500 businesses across the country are using this facility, including 65,000 plus households that have registered their workers using this service. Tasdeeq has penetrated almost every sector in the entire country,” according to DIG South, Javed Akbar.

Apart from worker registration and database creation, police officials are hopeful that the project will help them keep petty crime under control to a significant extent. However, the app raises privacy concerns because verification entails snapping photos of the individual being verified and submitting his or her personal information, which is then stored in the app’s database.

Pakistani institutions already lack solid data protection processes, have failed to protect citizens’ data in the past, and bulk data collecting of less-educated persons who may or may not consent to it could result in widespread privacy invasion.

Several data breaches involving NADRA – Pakistan’s largest database of residents’ biometric information – have been reported in the past, including one in which the data of over 100 million Pakistanis was compromised. NADRA has also been accused of allowing unauthorised third parties access to sensitive data on multiple occasions.

An in-depth examination is required to analyse the app’s data collecting mechanism, the security of the database in which it is housed, who has access to it, and if the persons whose data is being gathered have provided their express consent.