Huduma Namba given greenlight but ‘within proper laws’
What you need to know:
- The judges said the legislative framework as relates to children on Niims is inadequate.
- In April last year, the judges allowed the government to launch the Huduma Namba registration although with several tough conditions.
A three-judge bench has allowed the government to forge ahead with the Huduma Namba registration process.
However Justices Pauline Nyamweya, Weldon Korir and Mumbi Ngugi directed that the process must be done within a proper legislation framework.
Whilst there were concerns that information collected during the Huduma Namba registration exercise conducted last year violated citizens’ rights to privacy, the judges have ruled that collection of DNA and GPS data was intrusive as well as unconstitutional.
"Data protection must be accompanied by effective legislation," the judges said.
The judges also ruled that there was public participation because Kenyans were aware about the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) considering that there were advertisements.
The judges said the legislative framework as relates to children on Niims is inadequate. They issued the judgment in a case in which implementation of a digital platform that seeks to digitise and centralise records of vital life events of citizens and foreigners in Kenya had been dragged to court.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the Nubian Rights Forum and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) filed different cases challenging the platform but they were all consolidated into one.
They sued the Attorney-General, the Cabinet Secretaries for Interior and Information Communication Technology, the Director of National Registration and the Speaker of the National Assembly.
In April last year, the judges allowed the government to launch the Huduma Namba registration although with several tough conditions.
The judges stopped the government from forcing Kenyans to register for Huduma Namba and using the data collected from the exercise to withhold any services or bar anyone from accessing public facilities.
In addition, the government was also ordered to share the collected information with international bodies.
The judges said that it is in the public interest to have such a system for collection of data but the platform should not infringe on the rights of citizens and foreigners in the country. The judges also suspended collection of DNA samples and GPS information while pointing out that other unique identifiers should remain in place.
Several witnesses testified in the case, including information technology experts.
They said fresh information collected was not new and that the system was prone to hacking.
The judges said their 500-page long judgment will be available next week on Tuesday.