Lobby sues Government to stop digital registration

A human rights lobby has gone to court to challenge the new law requiring Kenyans to give personal information for digital registration.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission, in a case filed by lawyer Jackson Awele yesterday, argued there was no assurance the National Integrated Management System (NIMS) was hack-proof.

According to the lobby, both the National Assembly and the Executive did not seek the views of Kenyans before coming up with the contested registration law, and did not explain to Kenyans how the data would be secured.

Mr Awele argued that there was a likelihood the data, including DNA information, would be misused, even by criminals.

He told the court that the law, assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta on December 31 last year, unfairly locked out Kenyans who did not give their information from getting access to Government services.

Awele observed that the law did not define what constituted personal information. “In essence, this provision permits the State to require from citizens all manner of private information, including DNA information, without their consent.”

According to the State, NIMS should generate a unique identification number dubbed 'Huduma Number' for each person registered. Uhuru said no one would get access to Government services without the number.