Kenyans will soon be required to provide biometric data like ear geometry and voice patterns as country moves to create single identity document

Biometric data like ear patterns, eye colour, voice patterns, plot number and house number are some of the information needed to apply for ID.

  • Kenyans to have only two documents, a national identity card and passport.
  • The new system will be known as National Integrated Identity Management System.

Biometric data like ear patterns, eye colour, voice patterns, land reference number, plot number and house number are some of the information which will be captured in the single document under a new electronic system.

These additional information are contained in proposed amendments to the Registration of Persons Act of 2015 under the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 to the National Assembly.

The ministry of Interior is also seeking to introduce Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates in registration of persons, enabling tracking of their location via satellite capabilities.

Unique personal identifiers or attributes such as fingerprints, hand and earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) will be kept in digital form (biometric) and physical form.

For years Kenyans have complained issuance of several government documents belonging to one person wondering why the government can’t create a single document, this is set to change.

"Each one of us carry so many identification documents, you will have a new generation IDs, you have anew generation driving license, you have a pin, you have a birth certificate, you have an NHIF card, soon enough you will need a bag to carry your cards, each one of us will need a bag to carry our cards, you are so many people in one as it were, we are beginning a new project, we are calling it integrated personal identification system, we want to collapse our identification systems so that every Kenyan carries two identification documents that is how the civilised world works, your ID is supposed to be your driving license and everything else and your passport when you are traveling out of the country."  said Interior Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang'i.

In line with technical advancements, the proposed setting up of National Integrated Identity Management System will ensure all IDs, refugee cards, birth and death certificates as well as driving licences and passport documentation are printed and distributed for collection from a central location.

Other documentation to be managed by the system under the proposed amendments are foreigner certificates, work permits, foreign travel documentation and student identification cards.

The format will be useful in issuance of a single document, where applicable, as the new system is set to become a single source of personal information of all Kenyan citizens and registered resident foreigners, replacing principal registrars of persons and their deputies.

It will do this by creating, managing, maintaining and operating a national population register where each person will be assigned a unique national identification number.

Information from other databases in government agencies relating to registration of persons will be harmonised, incorporated and collated into the register.

The proposed changes also seek to replace declaration on tribe and race with county of birth or residence.

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