eyeem-100067300-124690046 banner.jpg

Photo: Shutterstock.com / Alpio

Zimbabwe’s Big Brother Technology is a Threat to Digital Rights

– Africa Portal

Three developments in digital ID indicate a dangerous future for human rights in Zimbabwe

This article argues that the Zimbabewean government’s development plans pose a threat to human rights, and that the media and civil society should hold the government to account. Ngwenya reflects on three developments which he believes are indicative of the future of data in Zimbabwe: the National Biometric Database, the National Data Centre, and hidden deals with China.

"There are fears that data collected through the projects will most likely be used for surveillance of government opponents and crushing dissent."

The National Biometric Database is the government's plan for a centralized database of citizens' physical characteristics, such as fingerprints. The National Data Centre is akin to a national identity register, however few details have been disclosed. Underpinning the above are multiple deals with China, as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. While these developments hold the potential to modernize Zimbabwe, there is currently a lack of transparency and attention from the media and civil society, leading to concerns about government surveillance.

This is especially concerning given the poor record China holds in the development of digital tools to curtail online freedoms and suppress critique

View Article