Kenya Finally Making Strides Towards Data Protection Laws

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Joe Mucheru
Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications - Kenya
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Kenya’s ICT Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, on June 11, 2018, announced that the government is working on a draft data protection law that will be published within two weeks. The minister says that the laws will be created to safeguard personal data held cooperations, with a special emphasis on mobile lending apps.

“It will specify how data can be stored and shared and will take into account standards set by data protection laws outside Kenya including in the European Union, said the minister.

There has been an outcry by a section of Kenyans for the government to implement data protection laws after it was evident that a majority of Kenyans give up their personal data whether knowingly or unknowingly to cooperates in order to get access to certain services.

The laws will not only work to protect the data of Kenyan citizens from misuse but it is also an attempt by the government to regulate the ever-growing mobile lending space that has also been accused of charging exorbitant fees in the name of “service charges”.

“We cannot ignore the fact that we have become a digital economy and therefore we need to have all the protections that are needed,” said Joe Mucheru while speaking to Reuters.

The draft law will be availed to the public within two weeks for scrutiny and contribution after which it will be tabled before parliament for further deliberation and ascension for it to be signed as law.

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, famously known as GDPR has been seen as a benchmark law that will protect consumers from misuse of their personal data and to see Kenya take a leaf off this tree is one of the biggest highlights of the year.

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