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Governing ID: Kenya’s Huduma Namba Programme

– Centre for Internet and Society India (CIS)

A case study examining Kenya’s national register scheme, Huduma Namba, and the ruling which suspended the programme

The author evaluates Kenyan’s National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) from a privacy and digital rights perspective, and questions whether it could exclude marginalized groups.

“The Registration of Persons Act does not have any clear provisions on exclusionary impact and how to address it.”

The article takes an in-depth look at whether citizens' data is protected under the scheme, and what changes would need to be made in the country before the project could lawfully continue.

During the pendency of the Huduma Namba case, the Kenyan parliament passed the Data Protection Act... however without the implementation of the provisions of the legislation, the Huduma Namba project should not move forward. For this, a Data Protection Authority needs to be established under the Data Protection Act.

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