From: Explaining Albania
Concerns Over Security of Personal Data With Biometric Voting System

The CEC Regulatory Commission has determined the characteristics of the electronic identification system to be used on April 25, 2021, general elections.

Electronic identification has been one of the main demands of the extra-parliamentary opposition as a part of the electoral reform.

Electoral technology work will be overseen by State Election Deputy Commissioner Lealba Pelinku, elected by the Democratic Party.

During the show ‘With a few words’ on Euronews Albania, Neritan Sejamini explained what this means.

It should be clarified that this is not about biometric identification, but only about verifying the identity of voters by placing a device at each polling station that ” the electronic chip of the identity card or passport.

The apparatus will display on the screen the photograph and card data, which will be visually compared by the polling station commission with the data in the voter list.

If the identity is verified, voters will be fingerprinted and given a ballot paper.

The devices will be decentralised  which means that they cannot communicate with each other or with any central database. Also, the system will be offline and will not be connected to any electrical network.

The benefit of this system is only to stop voting on behalf of another, with a fake card or to find out after the election if one person has voted more than once.

What makes this project worrying is that through this system the fingerprints of the voters will be taken. How the security of obtaining and storing these important personal data will be guaranteed is unclear, and the opportunities to abuse it is great.

Chief Commissioner of the CEC, Ilirjan Celibashi told Sejamini that the system is still being designed but that they would prove to citizens that it is 100% safe and data will not be misused.

“We have faith in this system. Shortly, we will be able to show citizens that the system is 100% safe even for political parties. There should be no fear of using biometric data. The concern is zero.”

When asked if there is enough time to prepare by doing biometric verification of those eligible to vote, Celibashi said:

“Time is against us for the implementation of the system. It has nothing to do with tendering because the CEC can apply simplified procedures in terms of time. The budget of this project is not a problem either because the government has expressed its willingness to support it.