Patriarch Kirill: Church stands for right to refuse biometric identification

Moscow, December 12, 2022     

Due to the risks bound up with the novelty of the technology of biometric data, the Church stands for the fundamental right of citizens to refuse biometric identification, according to the head of the Russian Church.

In a letter to the Chairman of the Russian State Duma regarding a large on biometric personal data adopted in October, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill notes that while technological developments are welcome, “the Church has always called for people to remember the risks they inevitably bring with them,” reports

As the Patriarch notes, the Russian Council of Bishops adopted a document on personal data in February 2013, already noting that “the problems associated with electronic identification, accounting and processing of personal data continue to accumulate and become more complicated.”

The Church also sounded the alarm in August 2020, during the COVID pandemic that saw the “extensive collection of personal data, including information about health, as well as the processing of this data.”

At the same time, commercial organizations have been collecting biometric data virtually unchecked for years, Pat. Kirill writes, and thus “the very need for state regulation of this area seems justified.”

“The Church stands in solidarity with those experts who claim that any database of personal information storage, including biometric, cannot be completely protected from leaks,” the Russian primate continues. “The risks of biometric data leaks are not fully understood due to the novelty of the technology.”

Thus, “the Church stands for the fundamental unconditional right of citizens to refuse biometric identification with absolute guarantees of non-discrimination in the case of such a choice.”

In conclusion, Pat. Kirill asks the Duma Chairman to consider amendments to the bill proposed by the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Anna Zimmerman12/13/2022 2:31 pm
If only other church leaders around the world would follow Patriarch Kirill's example. We should resist all attempts to corral and dehumanise people.
Anne12/12/2022 11:45 pm
Well said, Patriarch Kirill. I watched a man pay for his goods with his watch recently. The chip in the watch is not far from a chip in the hand. A matter of centimetres. The Mark of the Beast is not too far away it would is good that someone in the Church of Christ is calling for the right of refusal of "biometric identification."
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