The U.S. military is holding on to the biometric data of 3 million Iraqi citizens, according to a report on Wired.com. U.S. Central Command says the data will be valuable for counter terrorism.
U.S. troops in Iraq often carried biometric devices that collected photos, iris images and fingerprints. At times these devices collected information from suspected insurgents but they were also used to confirm the identity of individuals living in certain areas.
The U.S. claims ownership of the biometric data but the Iraqi government could access it through proper channels. The report doesn’t’ state why the U.S. didn’t give the data to the Iraqi’s but it posits a theory. “Iraq’s sectarian divides have not healed. And a database filled with uber-specific information about approximately 10 percent of Iraq’s population could represent a wish list for a death squad, militia or insurgent group — some of which are aligned with Iraqi political parties.”
Read the full report here.