Huduma Namba is illegal – High Court

by Wakili Liam
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Data Protection laws that were recently enacted have dealt a blow to the govt’s aim at collecting Kenyans data and using it for private purposes in Mastercard loan scheme.

The High Court has declared the Huduma Namba roll out illegal on grounds of being in conflict with the Data Protection Act, 2019.

Section 31 of the Data Protection Act requires data processing to be preceded by a data protection impact assessment to assess any data processing risks so that they can be mitigated.

Delivering the verdict, Justice Jairus Ngaah observed that the assessment was not done before rolling out the Huduma Namba.

The court, however, noted that a plea which sought to have the Huduma Namba roll out stopped is of no use since the government has already rolled out the issuance of the cards.

The government was thus directed to create safeguards to protect Kenyans’ data.

In the case, Katiba Institute moved to court to stop the roll out of the cards by the State, arguing that there is no data protection impact assessment as per Section 31 of the Data Protection Act, 2019.

They argued that by rolling out the Huduma number the respondents flouted the judgement of the court issued early last year.

“The Data Protection Act rights to privacy were guaranteed the moment the constitution was promulgated …,” they argued

The government however objected the case saying that the Act does not apply in the case before the court.

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