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Dubbed the National Integrated Identity Management System, the 6 billion shillings ($60 million) project will develop a unique identification number known as Huduma Namba— “service number”—for all citizens above six years of age. Foreign residents in Kenya will also have to apply for the listing system, whose pilot was rolled out in 15 of the nation’s 47 counties this week.

If we continue “jumping on every tech bandwagon in the name of offering public services, we risk irreparably breaking societies.”

The single population register was initiated by president Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration in a bid to introduce what he called a single “source of truth” on personal identity in Kenya. For years, officials have facilitated the acquisition of citizenship through corrupt meansand the government has reiterated the need to create a watertight system, especially in the wake of mounting terror attacks. But critics say the program will have unintended consequences including the denaturalization of millions of Kenyans, opening up the abuse of personal information by state agencies or third parties, and necessitating the surrender of personal information to access constitutionally-guaranteed services.

…continue reading ‘Kenya’s Plan To Store Its Citizens’ DNA Is Facing Massive Resistance’

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