Josephine K. Mule

Abstracts

2 Facial Recognition Technology in Institutions of Higher Learning: Exploring the Use in Kenya

Authors: Josephine K. Mule, Samuel Mwangi

Abstract:

Access control as a security technique regulates who or what can access resources. It is a fundamental concept in security that minimizes risks to the institutions that use access control. Regulating access to institutions of higher learning is key to ensure only authorized personnel and students are allowed into the institutions. The use of biometrics has been criticized due to the setup and maintenance costs, hygiene concerns, and trepidations regarding data privacy, among other apprehensions. Facial recognition is arguably a fast and accurate way of validating identity in order to guard protected areas. It guarantees that only authorized individuals gain access to secure locations while requiring far less personal information whilst providing an additional layer of security beyond keys, fobs, or identity cards. This exploratory study sought to investigate the use of facial recognition in controlling access in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. The sample population was drawn from both private and public higher learning institutions. The data is based on responses from staff and students. Questionnaires were used for data collection and follow up interviews conducted to understand responses from the questionnaires. 80% of the sampled population indicated that there were many security breaches by unauthorized people, with some resulting in terror attacks. These security breaches were attributed to stolen identity cases, where staff or student identity cards were stolen and used by criminals to access the institutions. These unauthorized accesses have resulted in losses to the institutions, including reputational damages. The findings indicate that security breaches are a major problem in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. Consequently, access control would be beneficial if employed to curb security breaches. We suggest the use of facial recognition technology, given its uniqueness in identifying users and its non-repudiation capabilities.

Keywords: Learning, Access control, Technology, Facial Recognition

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1 Analyzing the Place of Technology in Communication: Case Study of Kenya during COVID-19

Authors: Josephine K. Mule, Levi Obonyo

Abstract:

Technology has changed human life over time. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the work set-up, the school system, the shopping experience, church attendance, and even the way athletes train in Kenya. Although the use of technology to communicate and maintain interactions has been on the rise in the last 30 years, the uptake during the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented. Traditionally, ‘paid’ work has been considered to take place outside the “home house” but COVID-19 has resulted in what is now being referred to as “the world’s largest work-from-home experiment” with up to 43 percent of employees working at least some of the time remotely. This study was conducted on 90 respondents from across remote work set-ups, school systems, merchants and customers of online shopping, church leaders and congregants and athletes, and their coaches. Data were collected by questionnaires and interviews that were conducted online. The data is based on the first three months since the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kenya. This study found that the use of technology is in the center of working remotely with work interactions being propelled on various online platforms including, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, among others. The school system has also integrated the use of technology, including students defending their thesis/dissertations online and university graduations being conducted virtually. Kenya is known for its long-distance runners, due to the directives to reduce interactions; coaches have taken to providing their athletes with guidance on training on social media using applications such as WhatsApp. More local stores are now offering the shopping online option to their customers. Churches have also felt the brunt of the situation, especially because of the restrictions on crowds resulting in online services becoming more popular in 2020 than ever before. Artists, innovatively have started online musical concerts. The findings indicate that one of the outcomes in the Kenyan society that is evident as a result of the COVID-19 period is a population that is using technology more to communicate and get work done. Vices that have thrived in this season where the use of technology has increased, include the spreading of rumors on social media and cyberbullying. The place of technology seems to have been cemented by demand during this period.

Keywords: Communication, Technology, Kenya, COVID-19, coronavirus

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