Kenya faces mounting fraud concerns ahead of new digital ID system launch
Although still lower than the previous year, Kenya now ranks as the highest-risk country for ID fraud, with the Kenyan National ID card being the primary target.
Kenya relies on a crucial piece of identification for various official purposes, but as it prepares to launch a new digital identity system in September 2023, concerns about increasing fraud attempts have emerged. Escalating fraud attempts have raised alarm bells. In the first half of 2023, fraud surged to 17% in June, up from a record-low of 10% in January.
Although still lower than the previous year, Kenya now ranks as the highest-risk country for ID fraud, with the Kenyan National ID card being the primary target. Kenya introduced the Data Protection Act in 2019 to address data protection and privacy concerns, requiring businesses to collect and verify user identity information. However, fraud attempts have still increased, undermining trust in the existing identification system.
The upcoming digital ID system, incorporating advanced biometric features, aims to enhance online authentication and grant citizens greater control over their data. As the launch approaches, the focus is on prioritizing data protection to ensure a smooth and secure transition to the new digital era.
Why does it matter? Identification and digital identity systems play a critical role in various aspects of a country’s functioning and citizens’ lives. Recent incidents in countries like Thailand have highlighted the risks of fraud attempts, which can result in financial losses for individuals and businesses and undermine the integrity of identification systems. Upcoming digital ID’s successful uptake depends on addressing data protection concerns and ensuring government accountability in safeguarding citizens’ identities.