The ODPC Director-General Immaculate Kassait has called out on data controllers to safeguard and embrace a culture of privacy while handling data to ensure compliance with legal provisions.

Speaking during a virtual forum on Wednesday 26th of January head of the Data protection day marked annually on January 28th, Kassait emphasized the need for data handlers to understand the data procedures, how they are collecting it, processing and even storing it.

“It is crucial as a data controller to acquit yourself with the data protection ac and what provisions it says concerning your role. It is important as a data controller to ensure you are moving towards default and design to know where your information is.”She said.

Data governance is a major challenge that needs a pull of efforts and to make further progress on data protection, she called out on the formulation of policies that will ensure compliance. This called for the collaboration of relevant authorities and institutions in different sectors to ensure success in data protection.

she says “It is not possible for you to have a conversation around data protection as an institution if you don’t have a policy framework. It is also not possible for the office of the data protection commissioner to go door to door to ensure compliance. As such, we have decided to institute the Nigerian model to have people who walk with you on this journey”

How does the Nigerian data protection model work?

The Nigerian data protection works in a way that, the data subject’s consent is arguably the most integral requirement to obtain and process data. In Nigeria, data controllers and processors must first seek the consent of the data subject without undue influence, fraud, and coercion.

Usually, consent is obtained through clear, unambiguous data privacy policies to which the data subject has consented. Consent should be clearly given as implied consent is no consent. Furthermore, these data are obtained subject to certain rights granted to the data subject.

Is this possible in Kenya? The first step towards getting here is creating awareness of the importance of data privacy. there are so many of us online who leave our data trails everywhere without a care in the world.

In 2021, Amnesty International Kenya conducted a poll on the State of Awareness on Data Protection, 67 per cent of people said they were unaware of the Data Protection Act, while  82 per cent of respondents were unaware of the establishment of the office of the Data Commissioner.

The office of the data protection commissioner is working to build the capacity of data protection officers who will help in the enforcement of compliance.

  1. They are also rooting for the collaboration of all government and private sector and the civil society to spread awareness on data privacy which will boost safety in the whole cyberspace.

Most of us leave our data trails everywhere without thinking about the consequences until our privacy has been compromised. This year as we celebrate Data Privacy day, let’s make safeguarding our data a priority.

Our increased reliance on digital technologies to manage every facet of our life necessitates the need to rethink what we share about ourselves. Before sharing any personal content online, think about the consequences. Safe spaces start with us.