Majority of Kenyans Unaware of The Existence of the Data Commissioner’s Office- Report

Immaculate Kassait [Photo/Courtesy]

The majority of Kenyans are unaware of the establishment of the Data Protection Commissioners’ office, a 2021 survey conducted by Amnesty International has shown. Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait said that Kenyans facing a number of issues such as Cyberbullying and identity theft were still unaware of where to report such vices.

67 percent of respondents interviewed in the State of Data Protection Awareness poll by Amnesty International claimed they were unfamiliar with the Data Protection Act while 82 percent were uninformed of the existence of the Data Commissioner’s office.

This could be attributed to a lack of competence in the transmission of information, including availing legislation that is easy to read and communicate for ordinary persons.

Read: Data Commissioner Launches Investigations into Handling of Data by Mobile Loan Apps

Kassait advised those who conduct business online to establish measures to guarantee their systems and ensure that their processes are in place and safe in order to ensure data security. She said that the Data Commissioner’s office was in the process of increasing the number of Data Protection officers to help with the enforcement of compliance measures.

Kenya has experienced an influx of online citizens owing to the affordability of data and internet-enabled services. However, this has led to the sharing of more personal information especially on social media sites where people spend more time.

While calling for vigilance in the handling of third-party software, civil society has warned that excessive data regulation could lead to violations of individual rights and freedoms. Experts want those who mine data to be upfront about what they’re doing with it.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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