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Thursday, 5 May, 2022 - 10:44

Mobile SIM registration linked to digital ID is causing exclusion of marginalised groups, and concerns about privacy in the absence of sufficient legal safeguards, especially in nations with a history of abuse by authorities.
 
In recent weeks, millions of Nigerians have been barred from making calls after the government instructed telecommunications providers to disconnect their SIM cards because they failed to comply with the government directive to register and link them to their digital ID, known as the National Identity Number (NIN).
 
Most countries in Africa – 50 nations according to research by Privacy International - and around the world require SIM registration to identify the user.  However, Nigeria has gone further by requiring SIM cards to be registered and linked with a citizen’s digital ID, and therefore with the biometric data that it contains. Nigeria is not alone in doing this: some 30 countries globally require SIM registration linked to digital ID including biometric data such as fingerprints or facial images.
 
Such a registration policy excludes many marginalised groups such as some ethnic minorities or migrant workers without ID proof such as a birth certificates, needed to obtain a digital ID. This locks them out from obtaining a SIM - and therefore from mobile connectivity - and from government services that increasingly require mobile or internet service to access.
 
Secondly, SIM registration...

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Top Ten ICT4D Conferences 2011

OK the final results are in and so, according to popular acclaim, this the official Top Ten ICT4D Conferences of 2011:    *drum-roll*

 

May 16-20th, Geneva: WSIS Forum 2011

Reply to Bill Easterly

People’s Power: have we got an app for that?

Mike Gurstein has injected some welcome politics into the ICT4D debate in his most recent blog post. Power and politics are taboo subjects in mainstream development discourse, so I’m gratefu

PhD in ICT4D: where to begin

Several people tweeted me to ask how I decided which university to apply to begin a PhD in ICT4D. This is how I chose:

Don’t Recycle!

Don’t Recycle your old computers. Reuse them!

Re-use is 20 times better for the environment than recyling,
according to research from the UN.

Extending the productive life of our PCs by upgrading and donating older computers for re-use is the single most effective thing that each of us can do to reduce the environmental impact of our own computing.

A is for Access

Our practice of applying ICT for Development (ICT4D) is often concerned with access issues: trying to ensure that even the most marginalised communities, in the most remote locations, have equitable access to the tools that they require for development.

10 million first steps

How do you measure the value of being able to save lives with telemedicine?
Or of being able to provide the training that means a young women gets her first job as a network engineer?

Vapourware

There was a lot of media coverage this weekend about the unveiling in India of the the world’s cheapest ‘laptop’ which, media reports say, will cost $35 and is ‘likely’ to go down to $10. http://bit.ly/bqngWZ

Designed by the respected Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi the device is not a laptop at all but rather an iPad-like touchscreen slate.

The eWaste Billions

Our love for the latest gadgets & gismos puts the planet in peril.

More precisely the problem is toxic design & manufacture, rapid obsolescence & replacement cycles, and inadequate reuse & recycling.

Death by a Thousand Cuts

The axing by the government of the WEEE Advisory Board is a matter of real concern, coming as it does on the back of decisions to cut the budgets of DEFRA and of the Environment Agency.

The new government says it wants to bring the responsibilities of the WEEE Advisory Board ‘back into government’ where there is more accountability.

ICT Against Apartheid

One of the people who played a key role in establishing Computer Aid had previously spent 22 years in jail for treason.

Denis Goldberg was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, and amongst his other duties he organised the supply logistics for the ANC camps in Zambia, Zimbabwe and other ‘Frontline States’.

Enough Email Already

When old-timers like myself first began applying information and communication technology to development there was no such thing as ICT4D, no world wide web, no broadband, and no SMS.

Working in the Nicaraguan parliament after the Sandinista revolution, my first assignment was training staff to use WordPerfect for MS-DOS on a pre-hard-disk IBM PC.

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