Kenya plans to place public security above data privacy. That's a bad idea

3 days 19 hours ago
There is a balance to be struck between data privacy and citizens' safety. Mehaniq/Shutterstock

Less than two weeks after a January terror attack left 21 people dead at a Kenyan hotel complex, the government announced that it would implement a law related to citizens’ personal data.

The recent amendments to the Registration of Persons Act would allow the government to collect people’s personal information – including DNA samples, biometric data like fingerprints and retinal scans and GPS information to pinpoint their locations. The aim, authorities say, is to enhance security.

But the plan violates Kenyans’ privacy rights. These rights are enshrined in the country’s Constitution and certain sectoral laws that deal with electronic and medical data. Unfortunately, there is no specific legal framework beyond this to guarantee that personal sensitive data is protected and people’s privacy is not violated without cause.

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Explainer: factors that foster conflict in Nigeria's Kaduna state

3 days 19 hours ago
Nigerian police patrol a after a bomb blast in Kaduna. EPA/STR

Nigeria’s Kaduna State has been embroiled in conflict for decades. The violence has its roots in ethnic tensions between the state’s Muslim and non-Muslim populations.

The state is located in Northwestern Nigeria. It has a population of approximately 6.1 million people. The majority Hausa-Fulani tribe are predominantly Muslim and herders of cattle and the non-Muslim minority are mainly farmers.

The conflict between these two groups most recently flared up in October 2018 when communal clashes left at least 55 people dead. The resurgence of violence provided a convenient talking point for President Muhammadu Buhari on his campaign trail. The president has made the fight against insecurity a big component of his campaign. But while he has talked tough about the violence he hasn’t acted accordingly to ensure that peace prevails in Kaduna.

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