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Bangladesh - Technology - July 10, 2023

Birth and death data missing from server

Inquiry report to HC

Court Correspondent: An inquiry report into the ‘disappearance’ of a large number of data from the country’s Birth and Death Registration System (BDRIS) servers has been filed in the High Court.
The report was submitted to the High Court bench consisting of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Raziq Al Jalil yesterday. Deputy Attorney General Kazi Mainul Hasan filed this report in the court. Advocate Tanveer Ahmed heard on behalf of the writ.
The inquiry report submitted signed by Assistant Registrar General of Births and Deaths Samiul Islam Rahad said that only the inputted data is automatically saved on this server. But many registrar offices do not put their previous handwritten birth registration information online so many citizens do not have their birth registration information online i.e. on the server. This does not involve any loss of information from the server or loss of confidentiality of the information stored on the server. No data was stolen. No one deliberately destroyed or disappeared.
Stating that massive birth registration data has disappeared from the Births and Deaths Registration System (BDRIS) servers, the report added, “The data has not disappeared.” Many registrars do not include the previous handwritten birth registration information online in their manual registers, so many citizens’
birth registration information is not online i.e. on the server. That is, the registration information was never uploaded online. Despite their repeated urgings, it was not properly enforced. The then Births and Deaths Registration Scheme Office (now Registrar General’s Office) did not have the capacity to monitor the huge effort of bringing manual birth registration online.
Also, the birth and death registration server and BRIS software became non-functional in February 2015 due to excessive user pressure and remained down for three months, the report said. It is said that the BRIS software and database were activated with the help of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) and technical team of the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) appointed by UNICEF as there was no manpower to restore the software and the database. In this situation, the process of online registration of handwritten birth registration information is affected and some data in the database is missing.
However, as this report is incomplete, the court ordered the submission of a full report on August 10.
Earlier, the High Court ordered to investigate and report the large amount of data of births and deaths that disappeared from the server. Justice Md. on May 29, 2022 hearing the writ filed in public interest. The High Court bench headed by Mojibur Rahman Mia gave the order. At the same time, the High Court issued a ruling seeking to know why the inaction and idiocy of the defendants should not be declared illegal to curb the difficulties people are facing in obtaining birth and death certificates.
Besides, in view of the disappearance of a large amount of data from the respective servers, why the non-investigation should not be declared illegal and why the defendants should not be directed to create a central database as per Rule-19 of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act-2019, the ruling also asked. The defendants in the case are asked to respond to this ruling.

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