Kenya: Concerns over identifiable information in digital census

Kenya is undertaking its decennial national population and housing census from 24th to 31st August 2019. Unlike past editions where the census was carried out through manual questionnaires, the 2019 census will make use of digital technologies such as the geographic positioning system (GPS). Enumerators will also be issued with electronic kits. Prior to the census, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics undertook a cartographic mapping of the country.

Concerns are being raised about the inclusion of personally identifiable information in the counting exercise. Public disquiet comes after social media reports showed that the emunerators required people’s identification number as they entered the data. Enumerators would also asked whether the people being interviewed had enrolled for the digital ID programme, popularly known as ‘Huduma Namba’

ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng stated in a tweet that Huduma Namba data was also important for national planning.

The government was called upon to ensure a successful census by adhering to UN’s guidelines on census taking.

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