Tala Becomes First Digital Lender to Bag Data Controller Approval


In mid-July, the state opened the registration of data controllers and data processors. The exercise was revealed by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) via their site, www.odpc.go.ke

To note, The Data Protection Act, 2019, became law at the end of 2019. Among its many provisions is that data controllers and data processors must register with the ODPC. However, the registration exercise did not start immediately because it lacked some additional regulations.

To this end, the state pursued and published the Data Protection (registration of Data Controllers and Data Processors) Regulations, 2021. The amendments were made official at the start of 2022, and came into effect sometime in July 2022. 

Therefore, it is now a statutory requirement for all data controllers and processors to be registered. This includes the collection and storage of data of people located in Kenya.


Tala is a digital lender. It is one of the first companies that started offering loans to Kenya, alongside Branch, without collateral. 

The company has revealed that it has satisfied all the requirements needed by the ODPC to become a data controller. 

This means that the lender can determine the purpose or function for which and the means by which personal data is processed.

“This is a great milestone for our company, especially as we diversify our product portfolio and expand across markets. I would like to emphasize that at the core of Tala’s consumer data protection policies are the safeguards, security measures, and mechanisms we have implemented to protect personal data so that we are able to swiftly react to any potential data breach,” said Tala’s General Manager, Munyi Nthigah. 

Tala is the first digital lender to qualify for this requirement by the ODPC. 

Examples of data controllers include telcos, hotels, hospitals, insurance companies, educational institutions, mobile money or loan vendors, betting companies, retailers, government departments, professional service providers, independent commissions, charities, and Religious entities.