Activists sound alarm over African biometric ID projects

Published: 10/Dec/2020
Source: Al Jazeera

Biometric ID systems are proliferating across Africa but without the appropriate protections for citizens, say activists.

By Madeleine Speed

In January this year, Kenya’s High Court halted the roll-out of the country’s controversial biometric ID, the Huduma Namba, citing the lack of a regulatory framework to protect the privacy of citizens.

Once distribution is complete before the end of 2021, Kenyans will need the ID – which holds their fingerprints, contact details and occupational information – to access government services. When asked in 2019 why the government was pursuing the project, Kenya’s Information and Communication Technology Principal Secretary, Jerome Ochieng, responded, “Data is the new oil.”

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Themes: ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Pan Africa, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal
Year: 2020