BAFM, Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has discovered blockchain’s high potential in the field of improving asylum procedures.
The discovery is not unfounded, as the BAFM along with Fraunhofer FIT, Germany’s leading research organization, and one other unknown partner spent most of last year in coming up with a proof-of-concept or PoC, the results of which were published in a white paper on 26th March.
The PoC’s prime focus was to test blockchain’s ability to develop safe and trustworthy digital identities and improve the communication channel that runs through all levels of governance, which in turn would boost cooperation. These two aspects happen to be the primary goal of asylum procedures.
The White Paper
The white paper was curated by Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT and was further edited by BAFM.
According to the white paper, blockchain technology could be used to create digital identities that would be very difficult to tamper with. These digital identities would be of those refugees who arrive in the country without ID documents, and it would be based on the biometric data from the time when they first registered in the state they seek asylum in.
Hence, this unchangeable identity, based on the blockchain, would be able to help with further asylum procedures.
A Noble Initiative
Such a blockchain based identity solution would not only be transparent and lead to decentralized asylum procedures but on a macro level, it would also have a tremendous and positive impact on Europe’s unity.The white paper, however, was quick to note the hurdles that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s comprehensive data privacy laws, pose to a blockchain revolution. Nevertheless, the white paper positively puts forth the idea of a blockchain-backed asylum procedure created keeping in mind the GDPR.