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“The Cart Before the Horse” – A Kenyan Court Just Quashed a USD 95M Biometric Digital ID Project

– Temple Law

The risks of the global rush to implement digital identity systems

This article outlines how around the world, governments are implementing digital identity systems in the hope of providing unregistered persons with legal identity, but that often, these schemes are rolled out without adequate due process or public consultation. Because of this, the systems are likely to exacerbate existing inequalities.

“All over the world, as systems roll-out in rapid succession, a growing body of evidence suggests that the people already struggling with structural disadvantage under these regimes end up suffering compound harm in a digital transformation.”

The author discusses the Huduma Namba case in Kenya, where a court recently ruled that the system was illegal as it failed to study the potential privacy risks to citizens, and retroactively enforced a data protection law after the system was implemented.

The Katiba Institute decision sets a precedent not only for Kenya, or for East Africa, but one worth of study globally that is already reverberating from India to Brazil

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