Home Tech Tackling insecurity will have Kenyans lose privacy of phone communication

Tackling insecurity will have Kenyans lose privacy of phone communication

by Susan Mwenesi
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mobile opsKenya has been facing insecurity challenges that have led to loss of life and seen some sectors such as tourism get crippled prompting the country to come up with means to counter them the latest being getting an American company to monitor information exchanged between citizens.

The Business Daily reports that over the next two months there will be a roll out of digital personal identification cards and a telecoms surveillance network to remotely intercept voice and text messages between people.

Yesterday Interior secretary Joseph ole Lenku said Kenya is negotiating with American firm Richmar and Associates for the supply of Biometric Identification Cards as well as portable data centre technology that will hold a person’s biometrics including voice.

“The technology has the ability to strategically and tactically track all forms of communication (cellphones, SMS, satellite and Web, helping security agencies to pursue criminals,” Mr. Lenku said during a briefing on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent trip to the US.

It is however unclear how this will be carried out without contravening the rights of privacy of citizens and if the matter is not addressed it could have telecoms being exposed to legal suits as the constitution provides for right to privacy in  Article 31 that also includes  “the right not to have the privacy of their communications infringed.”

Yesterday the government set the stage for the issuance of digital IDs and everyone is expected to acquire the cards within a year of its roll out failure of which they will not be able to transact in banks, make utility payments or travel out of the country.



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