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Kenya Expands Its Controversial Digital ID System

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Taking a decisive move towards embracing dystopian technology, the Kenyan government has formally published legislation redecorating its digital ID system. The new modality builds upon its existing infrastructure for biometric citizen registration, allotting provisions for the issuance of a digital ID card, a comprehensive digital register of individuals, and a unique personal identifier.

The proposal includes the UPI, making the process of generating birth certificates simpler by directly assigning them to newborns.

Without abandoning its traditional modality, the Kenyan government has modernized its ID verification requirements. Building upon already controversial fingerprint biometrics, they introduced advancements in facial recognition and iris biometrics to their verification repertoire.

The officials assured that the groundwork for the test run of the new system is ready, sounding an optimistic note about the security of the Maisha Card and its resilience against tampering.

Yet, this endeavor has a more profound layer. As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the vulnerability of personal data continues to heighten, illuminating questions about the tension between technological advancements and data privacy. Bishop Philip Kitoto, Chairman of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, stressed the need for the program to address such fears, touching upon the essential concern of data privacy and security. Officials have also echoed these sentiments, asserting their commitment to proper governance of the digital ID system.

As the government powers ahead with its digital transfiguration, it invites commentary around the implications of facial, iris, and other biometric data in public domains.

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