The constitutionality of Huduma Namba has raised many questions, as there is little information in the public domain on NIIMS. From data protection, right to dignity, public participation public procurement, separation of powers, access to information among others.
All that is availed to the public is what is in the amendment to the Registration of Persons Act which does not give any special principles to be considered when processing children data
Concerned parties through a Huduma Namba case, brought this matter before the Milimani High Court particularly on the NIIMs data privacy which does not provide for the rights of data subjects, especially children. The first expert witness in the Huduma Namba case, Grace B, highlighted that Huduma Namba is not sound for children because the government has not put in place measures to protect data on them.
“NIIMS is centralized and federated. Centralized because all data is kept in a single database. Federated because functional databases are divided into bits for management. We are in the age of Bigdata where people want to collect as much information as possible. The principles of Adequacy, on the other hand, requires that we collect only the information that is required for a specific purpose. There are no measures on how children data will be safeguarded.
“Digitalization is harmful to children. We should not, as adults, make harmful decisions on behalf of children that will impact their life forever. This is why NIIMS is problematic for children; No law allows the collection of children’s data Registration of Persons Act only applies to Kenyan adults. NIIMS allows the collection of data without asking ‘is it necessary to collect data on children. Even if it was necessary to collect children data, is NIIMS the least restrictive way to collect data?” she argued her case.
The petitioner further argued that Huduma Namba does did not adhere to Article 24 of the Constitution and that biometric data collection of children is a long-short at stop child trafficking. Citing the incident of Zimbabwe facial data which was sold to China to develop Artificial Intelligence on how to read African faces, she said that the government has a duty to give information on Huduma Namba proactively.