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HUDUMA NUMBER, NOTHING BUT A SCAM, CYBER SECURITY EXPERT SAYS

THIS IS WHY ALL KENYANS SHOULD FEAR ANY CENTRALIZED INFORMATION SYSTEMS

KENYA'S HUDUMA NUMBER CARD PHOTO COURTESY
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In summary:

The state wasted taxpayers money to purchase a bogus Huduma Number system.

The acquired system was outdated hence not able to store data for a long period.

Millions of Kenyan’s data at stake due to breached security loopholes.

An expert witness has told the high court that Kenyans are not guaranteed security in as far as their data is concerned.

Anand Venkatanatayan, an IT guru who was testifying against the Kenyan Government on a case filed to challenge the Huduma Number project told the court that personal e-mails among other highly sensitive data are under threat.

HUDUMA NUMBER INCONSISTENCIES

Anand further cited inconsistencies in Huduma Number results for different people. The system has got a major loophole whereby it produces two different results for the same person.

This is the same hitch experienced in India where a similar project failed to bear fruit.

Kenya’s NIIMIS is similar to that of India Aadhaar which is highly vulnerable to numerous leaks.

HACKING
The key witness also suggested that the Huduma Number project will present numerous avenues and opportunities for hackers who would like to mint cash from the Kenyan government.

He suggests that when it comes to computer security, nothing is impregnable especially when hoarding of data is involved.

Centralized system such as NIIMIS and Aadhaar (India) hoard too much data that attracts hackers.

According to him, the infrastructure used to construct the Huduma Number system is weak and prone to leaks.

Anand is not arguing from a point of ignorance. He is an expert in cybersecurity and computer forensic analysis.

Besides, he has got enough working experience which is the more reason why his views should not be ignored.

Unfortunately, no law can shield the system from anomalies and possible hacks.

HUDUMA NUMBER PROJECT
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the project in Machakos County in April this year.

Its main aim was to capture biometric data, identification documents, KRA numbers, NSSF, emails, National identification and NHIF details just to mention a few.

The witness claims that the collection of personal data was uncalled for since it will neither curb falsification of documents nor ease access to government services.

He also added that NIIMIS will not stop resemblance between individuals.
Also, human features tend to change over time. If a person ages then his or her features are likely to alter.

BIOMETRICS
The rationale behind NIIMIS system in Kenya is to prevent duplication of sensitive documents like national identification cards.

However, this objective may not be met given that biometrics is susceptible to change.

Both Kenya and India’s systems emanate from OT Morpho. So if India’s case is anything to go by, then our system is also deemed to fail.

IMMORTALITY
Anand further suggested that the NIIMIS system can only succeed if all factors remain constant-immortality.

This is, however, a nearly impossible condition given that the iris and fingerprints cannot remain the same throughout one’s lifetime.

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Other dangers posed by NIIMIS include profiling and manipulation of children and perpetuation of modern-day colonization.

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