The Data Protection Act, 2019, was signed into law back in 2019. It presented a series of features and requirements, one of them being the establishment of the Office of the Data Commissioner.
The holder of the new office, Immaculate Kassait, was appointed in 2020.
The Data Commissioner has been busy since her appointment. Part of the Office’s mandate is to demonstrate that people can finally trust organizations handling and processing personal data, following years of abuse. That major task is yet to be seen, but the entire process takes time.
So far, the same office has been drafting regulations regarding access and processing personal information, specifically about organizations that may want that information 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
The development follows the COVID-19 outbreak, of which Kenya reported the first case at the end of Q1 2020.
Other than the said activity, the CS for the ICT Ministry has appointed a team that completes the establishment of the Taskforce of The Data Protection (General) Regulations.
The team is Chaired by Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait.
Members include Dr. Humphrey Njogu, Eng. Daniel Obam, Christopher Maina, Duncan Nyale and Marion Muriithi.
Additional members are Miriam Kakenya, Thuranira Gatuyu, Damaris Makala, Rose Musero, Victor Nzomo and Augustus Munywoki.
The Taskforce’s Joint Secretaries are Rahab Juma and Brenda Gabantu.
Besides performing a robust audit of the Data Protection Act, 2019, the team’s Terms of Reference include identifying gaps or inconsistencies in the law, and proposing any new policy, legal and institutional framework that may be needed to implement the Act.
The Taskforce will also be mandated to develop the Data Protection (General) Regulations, among other activities.