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Gov’t Furious Over National ID Data Safety Reports

Security Minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde (L) addressing the press on Monday along with UCC Executive Director Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi (R)
Government officials addressing the media recently about the National ID project

Government has reacted angrily at media reports that sensitive and confidential data collected in the massive nationwide registration exercise was stolen.

This followed Sunday Vision’s story of June 25, 2017 which indicated that the confidential data submitted to and in possession of the National Identification and registration Authority (NIRA) could have landed into wrong hands.

The article was premised on a case currently under investigation by police in which a city businessman is alleged to have lost Shs 51m shillings through a fraudulent payment to a one Norbert Kamwebaze.

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NIRA responded on Sunday with a strong-worded statement, saying the story had serious implications for national security.

NIRA said the Identification Number (NIN) cited in the story doesn’t exist, adding this was a case of forgery.

NIRA also said access to data in the National ID Register is “strictly regulated and guided” by procedures laid down in the Registration of Persons Act 2015 contrary.

This development also comes against the backdrop of reports that telecoms were interested in the data cache.

The registration authority said the established procedures restrict access to data to specific offices at NIRA and no persons other than those stated in the law can access the confidential information.

“The process of establishment of the national ID register envisaged risk to data security, hence the establishment of stringent technical and legal controls on data access,” said NIRA.

The body further denied sharing data from the National ID Register with the telecom companies during the on-going SIM Card validation exercise.
Officials told ChimpReports the procedure for SIM card validation is such that the telecom companies submit their subscriber details to UCC which is later submitted to NIRA for verification.

This information is then compared against the National ID data by NIRA and a simple YES/NO report is generated confirming whether a subscriber is registered and his or her NIN and names correspond to informa on in the NIR or not.

The report is then sent to UCC for action.
The information verified during the SIM card validation appears on the face of the ID card.
“NIRA wishes to reassure the public that the national ID data is secure to the highest security levels and access to that data is strictly according to the Registration of Persons Act 2015 and regulations,” the body said in the statement.

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