Photo: / John Wollwerth

Why the Huduma Namba Ruling Matters

– Privacy International

  • News
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • 4 February 2020

Privacy International’s response to the initial Huduma Namba court ruling, that regulation is needed to make sure that the implementation of National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) is not exclusionary

Privacy International reflects on why a democratic process in the development of identity system is so important - given how national identity systems are often introduced without the necessary rigor for such important initiatives, and how relevant this theme is across the world, not just in Kenya.

With the biometric data of almost 40 million Kenyans already collected as part of the roll-out of the system, and with the danger of the system leaving millions without access to vital services, the importance of this case to Kenyans is difficult to overstate.

The article also points out the importance of the Huduma Namba case in showing how digital identity could deepen exclusion, rather than lead to better inclusion, for the Nubian and Somali communities in Kenya.

The need to identify yourself should not come with the risk of exclusion, exploitation and surveillance. At the very least, the work of civil society in the Kenyan case has highlighted the risks and challenges of such an identity system - and we should all take notice of how much is at stake

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