By Mutindi Muema, Tevin Mwenda and Angela Minayo
Edited by: Grace Githaiga
Digital Identity is one of the current concerns in the Human Rights and ICT sectors in Kenya, given the Government’s Huduma Namba (Kiswahili term for Service Number) initiative and the planned adoption of the Huduma Namba across almost every sector. The Huduma Namba is the name given to Kenya’s digital identification program known as the National Integrated Information Management System (NIIMS)
Unfortunately, over Eighteen Million persons in Kenya do not have legal identification for various historical and systemic injustices, and the shift towards Huduma would result in their further exclusion from access to Government and private sector services. Moreover, Kenya is yet to put in place an appropriate policy, legal and multistakeholder framework to tackle privacy concerns, information security threats, discrimination and exclusion concerns, lack of legal IDs by persons from marginalized communities and regions, best interest of the child, as well as other emerging issues relating to digital IDs.
The goal of this policy brief is to provide a snapshot of the state of policy, legal and institutional framework for identity in Kenya, with a view to informing the future actions by state and non-state actors in the transition to digital IDs in Kenya.
The Policy brief calls for the establishment and implementation of effective policy, legal and institutional frameworks to secure the right to privacy, protection of personal data, inclusion, best interest of the child and fair and responsive administrative procedures. The aim is to address any issues related to registration, legal identity and the administration and use of digital IDs.