Kenyans Ranked Most Careless Group On Internet In New Digital Media Report

Person using social media apps [Phoro/Courtesy]

In the wake of data privacy concerns all over the world, a new survey report has revealed that Kenyans are less troubled on the security of personal data they choose to share on the internet.

According to the Digital Economy report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), only four out of ten Kenyans are concerned about the data they choose to share on the interweb.

This is the lowest level in the world when compared to the global average of eight in every 10 users, implying that many Kenyans are vulnerable to cyber fraud.

“While there appears to be increasing concerns about data privacy and online security around the world, there is somewhat a ‘data privacy paradox’, as users continue to give away personal data and thus their privacy in exchange for different services,” says the report published last (Wednesday) evening.

Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt were the only countries in Africa selected for the survey.

“The lowest level of concern was noted in Kenya at 44 per cent,” said UNCTAD.

Read: Lawyer Mugambi Laibuta Pokes Holes Into Ministry Of ICT’s Data Protection Bill

UNCTAD’s conclusion was based on the findings of a 2019 Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust on 25,229 internet users in select 25 countries in the world between December 21, 2018, and February 10, 2019.

In the survey, ‘free’ social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, were cited as the second sources of distrust on the internet, after cybercriminals.

“Many of these services (internet searches, social media and online reservations) are offered by various platforms free of charge or on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

“This situation has been described as someone who is not paying for a product, becomes the product. Therefore, paradoxically, privacy becomes part of the economy, ” UNCTAD says.

For instance, Cambridge Analytica, a British election consultancy firm, is said to have used the Kenyan vulnerabilities on Facebook to help President Uhuru Kenyatta win the August 2017 poll.

The company, however, denied the claims.

Insufficient public awareness on matters cybersecurity is one of the challenges the country is struggling with.

However, individuals privy to ongoings in technology recently put the government to task when it wanted to roll out the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) exercise popularly known as Huduma Namba.

Read Also: SIM Card Registration; Where Are Data Security Laws?

Lack of a data protection law in Kenya took center stage in the conversation around the Huduma Namba listing exercise.

Several humanitarian groups filed a case to challenge the exercise.

In April, the High Court allowed the government to go on with the exercise but directed that the listing should not be mandatory.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and Mumbi Ngugi, further, barred the government from collecting DNA samples and GPS coordinates as part of the NIIMS data.

Due to the weak systems in Kenya, hackers continue to wreak havoc especially in the banking industry where, according to reports, lose Ksh50 million daily.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

Passionate digital Journalist with a bias for political and current affairs stories.

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