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Kenyans fear for safety of Huduma Namba details

COUNTIES
By Wilfred Ayaga | February 27th 2020
Members of the public follow proceedings during the controversial Huduma Number public participation forum at Tom Mboya labour College in Kisumu. [Collins Oduor/Standard]

Kenyans yesterday expressed concern over the safety of the data given out during Huduma Namba registration.

The registration will see every Kenyan assigned a unique number at birth with details of all citizens, foreigners living in the country and refugees stored in the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) database

During public hearings on Huduma Namba regulations published by the government, participants said the State lacks the capacity to protect personal details, putting at risk information provided by individuals.

The forum was held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) yesterday.

“We are afraid that our details may not be well protected. If I give out my personal details and later die, there is a possibility of impersonation. Someone could easily access details such as my bank accounts,” said one of the participants at the hearings

A representative of the Nubian community, Aisha Suleiman questioned the credibility of the company that was given a tender to supply the Huduma Namba kits citing its controversial relationship with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission (IEBC).

The company, formerly known as Safran Morpho, was on the spotlight over its role in suspected procurement malpractices after it won a tender to supply election technology to IEBC in the last general election.

Concerns also emerged on a provision that would allow people to change their personal details captured in their Huduma Namba database, with questions on how additional data provided by individuals would be verified.

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Changing details

According to the published regulations, an individual can alter his details if there are changes to their status.

“An enrolled resident individual pay update their details under NIIMS by notifying a designated registration officer of any change in the particulars…upon the receipt of  a notification of change of particulars, the designated registration office shall verify the information provided and update the NIIMS data base,” the regulations state.

The public hearings were held to put to rest fears that followed the roll out of Huduma Namba registration in April last year.

A representative of Bunge law Mwananchi questioned the huge expenditure on unique number, arguing that the government already has adequate personal details for its 47 million citizens.

The public hearings are expected to conclude today.

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