Kenya stops program to collect photos and fingerprints of its citizens for fear of discrimination

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Kenya introduced a large program of biometric identity last year, with the goal of collecting personal and biometric data – such as fingerprints and facial images – of its 50 million population, but the program was temporarily suspended by the country’s Supreme Court, which indicated concerns about how the data could be used Collected.

The program, called the National Integrated Management System, aims to make the biometric identity mandatory for all citizens and foreign residents who access a wide range of services, including health care, housing, education, and voting, but following criticism from a number of From the country’s civil rights groups, the Supreme Court of Kenya suspended the program until the government put in place an appropriate and comprehensive regulatory framework that would protect data security and protect minorities from discrimination.

The decision – expected to see a 500-page formal ruling issued next week – would be a blow to the Kenyan government, which has already collected data from about 40 million people, and will now have to pass new legislation subject to public scrutiny, which will prove to be a challenge in confronting groups Civil Rights, which strongly opposed the program.

“We hope this ruling will be a milestone in the pursuit of equality for all Kenyans,” Yusef Bashir, the lawyer who represents the Nubian Rights Forum, told the New York Times.

Kenyas decision to implement this type of large-scale identity program is followed by similar moves from other countries – many of which have proven to be a problem, with a database Aadhaar Hindi – which contains biometric data for more than 1.1 billion Indian citizens – on many security issues since its inception.

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