Data Commissioner Issues Draft Guidelines on Processing Personal Data During the Pandemic


The office of the Data Protection Commissioner, alongside the COVID-19 ICT Advisory Committee has published a draft Guidance Note on Personal Data Protection on COVID-19 Responses.

The document, which is available online at the ICT Ministry website, is under review. The Commissioner is therefore seeking public and stakeholder input before the document can progress to the next step.

“The expected outcome after stakeholders’ consultation is that the Public and the Private Sector would have policy guidance on processing personal data on individuals to actualize responses to, and research on, the pandemic, including data requests by innovators and researchers, to give effect to the right to privacy as it relates to the protection of personal information,” reads a statement from the Office of the Data Commissioner.

Comments and input should be submitted to [email protected]. The deadline for submissions is in 21 days from the date of the advert (Jan 13, 2021).

The document is under existing laws, such as the Data Protection Act, 2019, among other sectorial laws that may apply.

Among the features mentioned in the document include the guidance’s key principles (every personal data collection, use, sharing, storage, and other processing of Personal Data shall be based on the principles of data processing provided in the Data Protection Act);

The mechanisms of requesting for data (any personal data sharing between parties has to be guided by a valid agreement including nondisclosure, data confidentiality provisions, data protection safeguard provisions including the data destruction technique to be used, data protection impact statement based, a data responsibility matrix, and should be approved by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner);

And implementation (for instance, health data shall be sourced from the Ministry of Health; telecommunications data from the Communications Authority of Kenya, transport data from the National Transport and Safety Authority, among others).

The guidance can be downloaded from here. The site also has a data request form related to the draft guidance.