FB pixel

Finger-pointing begins over biometric device failures in Kenyan election

 

The South African company that provided Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) with the biometric devices used in the country’s presidential elections earlier this month says it can’t be blamed for a failure by election officers to use the gadgets properly.

Reported in The Standard, this news comes as faulty biometric devices caused massive delays and problems during the March 4 elections.  Face Technologies is the company that provided the biometric identification machines.

Previously reported in BiometricUpdate.com, biometric verification machines were in many cases either shutting down or malfunctioning on election day.

In an email interview with The Standard, Ian Minty, the tender office executive manager at Face Technologies said the machines were assembled in China with components from the United States as well as from China.

“They were tested upon manufacturing in the factory by the Kenya Bureau of Standards before issuance of the required certificate of conformity,” Minty reported said in the email exchange. “They were also tested before and during training. No failures were reported.”

This being said, The Standard says that at the time of publishing, it had not seen a copy of the alleged certificate of conformity.

According to Face Technologies, some operators did not follow correct log in or operating procedures, or did not properly charge the three batteries supplied with each devices before voting began.

According to the report in The Standard, “jamming of the database server, which was receiving the information from the mobile handsets from the various polling centres, also helped to collapse the project.”

Reports have also surfaced suggesting that the IEBC ignored warnings to shelve the electronic identification system, as several weaknesses were noted. According to all Africa, the IEBC director of ICT, Dismas Ong’ondi wrote an internal memo to management warning of these weaknesses, and also stated that “Face Technologies had changed the model it had presented during the evaluation phase of the tender.”

Also in the All Africa report, “the South African firm won the tender for more than 30,000 poll books after quoting Sh1.4 billion, which was lower than Safran Morpho’s bid of Sh1.54 billion and Avante Technologies’ Sh2.2 billion.”

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is now demanding an audit of the entire electronic system used in Kenya’s presidential elections. 

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News

 

EU AI Act should revise its risk-based approach: Report

Another voice has joined the chorus criticizing the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act, this time arguing that important provisions of…

 

Swiss e-ID resists rushing trust infrastructure

Switzerland is debating on how to proceed with the technical implementation of its national digital identity as the 2026 deadline…

 

Former Jumio exec joins digital ID web 3.0 project

Move over Worldcoin, there’s a new kid on the block vying for the attention of the digital identity industry and…

 

DHS audit urges upgrade of biometric vetting for noncitizens and asylum seekers

A recent audit by the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has called for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)…

 

Researchers spotlight Russia’s opaque facial recognition surveillance system

In recent years, Russia has been attracting attention for its use of facial recognition surveillance to track down protestors, opposition…

 

Estonia digital identity wallet app from Cybernetica lifts off

Tallinn-based Cybernetica has submitted the minimum viable product (MVP) for Estonia’s national digital identity wallet to the Estonian Information System…

Comments

One Reply to “Finger-pointing begins over biometric device failures in Kenyan election”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events