By Mercy King’ori
The previous year was eventful for Kenya in terms of national processes that relied on information and communication technologies (ICTs) for their execution as well as ICT related legislation and policies that reflected this increased reliance on ICT. The two major processes included: Huduma Namba registration and the National Census. The laws and policies include the enacted Data Protection Act, proposed Social Media Bill and CCTV policy. Huduma Namba registration involved collection of personal information with the aim of issuing Kenyans and residents in Kenya with unique identifying numbers. The process leveraged on biometric technology to collect and store personal information. The use of this form of technology was a key differentiator of this civil registration process compared to others due to the nature of the information collected. The other process was the National Census. This was the first ever Census to be paperless. Enumerators were given tablets which they used to input the information they were collecting. The information was transmitted electronically. In fact, thanks to the use of ICTs, this year’s census results were released within a record two months. This is because the information was being transmitted to a single area upon collection as opposed to manual records that take time to compute.
Additionally, the legislation and policy making space generated laws and policies that would have an impact on processes that leverage on ICTs such as the Data Protection Act which has provisions on safeguarding personal information, proposed laws relating to social media platforms (amendments to Kenya Information and Communication Act known as “Social Media Bill” ) that aims to regulate the use of social media and a CCTV policy to regulate the use of CCTV cameras in Kenya. The aim has been to regulate the use of ICTs that can undeniably go rogue such as violating constitutionally guaranteed human rights.Continue reading