Kenyan court declares biometric ID rollout illegal

The high court in Kenya has declared illegal the rollout of a biometric ID scheme also known as Huduma Namba.

The judge said the rollout went against the 2019 data protection act.

The government was also faulted for not assessing how data protection would be impacted before the rollout.

The interior ministry has been ordered to conduct the assessment in line with the law.

The Huduma Namba scheme was launched to bring together on one card details about a citizen so they could get easy access to all government services.

Sensitive information, such as contact details, fingerprints and a person’s profession, was collected in 2019.

Early last year, the court had already halted the scheme until new data protection laws had been enacted.

Millions of Huduma Namba cards had been printed and some have already been collected by Kenyans.

Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna on Wednesday urged those who had not collected their cards to do so and clarified that the cards would not be used in the upcoming general election.

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