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Countries Debate Openness of Future National IDs

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An Officer Taking a Photo

An officer from the National Integrated Identity Management system (NIIMS) seen taking a photo of Mr. Charles Chepkwony to process his biometric data in Kenya.

Credit: Billy Mutai/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

More than half of African countries are developing some form of biometric or digital national identification (ID) in response to major international calls to establish legal IDs for the nearly 1 billion people who currently lack them. However, this ID boom often moves faster than data protection laws.

For countries that move forward with digital ID laws, opportunistic vendors can lock them into their products. For example, Kenya is using software that is only accessible to government agencies and contractors, a fact that is concerning to some critics.

Meanwhile, India's Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP) may not solve all the security issues associated with early national ID ecosystems, but it could empower governments to expect more from the vendors that support future national IDs.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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