The East African nation of Uganda is announcing plans to begin harvesting and tracking the DNA and biometric data of its citizens under an updated version of the country’s national ID program, which will see genetic information added to the ID cards that Ugandans are legally required to obtain.
Uganda began its national ID program in 2014, giving the cards a 10-year lifespan before they reach expiration. Under plans recently announced by the nation’s government, when cards start expiring in 2024, Uganda will begin to harvest the DNA of its citizens for use in the revamped national ID program, though it isn’t clear exactly how the government plans to extract the DNA from its citizens.
In addition to information on Ugandan’s DNA profiles, the updated ID cards will feature biometric data and fingerprints, as well as information gathered from the eyes of Ugandan citizens using scan technology. All this, the government says, will help speed up the identity verification process at government offices and administrative centers, as well as assist law enforcement in their investigations. The cards are also digitized, giving the government instant access to citizens’ information via a massive national catalog.