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Thursday August 13, 2020 – Kenyans have all the reasons to be worried of their safety after registering for Huduma Namba.

This is after a report on Digital Rights in Kenya identified various loopholes in the proposed Huduma Bill, 2019, as well as other legislations relating to Kenyans’ data such as the Data Protection Act.

Millions of Kenyans turned out to register for the Huduma Namba, with the Government promising that the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) would be an all-in-one pass to efficiently access services from Government agencies.

The report noted that the insistence on fingerprints as the sole registration option posed a challenge given the threat it posed if the database was compromised. 

“The emphasis placed on the use of fingerprints to enroll or identify an enrolled person is very limiting. Given that it proposes that biometric information cannot be altered by an individual, it could be a tall order for enrolled entries in case the data is stolen or lost from NIIMs,” the report reads in part.

While each fingerprint is unique, they can be stolen and copied.

In some cases, they are moulded onto artificial silicon fingers and used in identity theft, allowing hackers to access locked mobile phones, payment systems and more.

The Government has, however, issued multiple assurances that the data stored in the NIIMS database, will remain secure. 

“Do you know where the data on your driving license is?”

“Do you know where your PIN (KRA) data is?”

“Do you know where your ID data is?” Matiang’i posed.

“You have trusted your government so much, why are you mistrusting us at this point in time?” asked Interior CS Fred Matiang’i in April 2019 amid concerns over the safety of Kenyans’ data.


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