Kenya’s Minister of Technology Joe Mucheru has revealed that the country’s controversial new Huduma number identification system is built on blockchain.
Huduma Number, which translates to Service Number, is the Kenyan government’s idea to introduce a unique identity number and card system that can help improve service access and delivery to citizens.
Records that will be harmonized to a Huduma UN Number include:
√ Registration and replacement of identity card
√ Application and renewal of driving license
√ Registration for passport and foreigner’s card
√ Registration for NHIF and NSSF cards
√ Registration of birth and death certificates
Some of the information captured by the card includes biometric information, fingerprints and, of course, personal information.
Speaking on a Kenyan radio show, the Cabinet Minister reiterated that a person’s details cannot be changed once entered as the blockchain is immutable.
SEE ALSO: [WATCH] Kenya unveils digital Huduma card, a unique identification number, during Mashujaa Day 2020 celebrations
The minister added that a complete history of a person’s activity is available on the blockchain, which is necessary for accountability and auditing. Kenya is notorious for acquiring corrupt wealth and, according to the minister, blockchain would be used to verify how citizens acquired their wealth.
The implementation of the Huduma Number system was, however, halted by the judiciary in Kenya, citing poor user data protection in the country. Nevertheless, millions of Kenyans have had their cards made and their data is kept on a blockchain.
It’s unclear how open blockchain would be to scrutiny, but the card can be seen to show that it’s supported by MasterCard, potentially acting as a debit card. As the Kenyan government has been accused of violating the country’s data protection law, the United Nations has urged countries to embrace digital ID.
This initiative is part of the much broader Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) which will see all government services integrated for easier management.
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