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Ghana: Commission established to protect data

Ghana , 20 Nov 2014

Ghana: Commission established to protect data

The government of Ghana has launched the data protection commission under the data protection Act 2012 (act 843) and has simultaneously unveiled the main website and registration systems to be used to collect and manage data.

The launch, under the theme Know your right, protect your information, aims to create awareness for citizens to access their personal information and have the right to amend it.

The Commission will hear any complaints from the public regarding personal data.

The Minister for Communication, Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah stated that every Ghanaian had the right to communication, adding that such right needed to be guaranteed in the processing of personal data irrespective of the medium.

An increase in online insecurities has led to the passage of such legislation to safeguard the gains made in ICT, the minister said.

In the light of ICT developments, other countries in the continent are embracing legislation to protect and guide the use of personal data.

Kenya and South Africa have recently been in the midst of setting up laws that safeguard personal data of its citizens.

Kenya has drafted its data protection bill 2013 which also aims to ensure right to privacy, and outlines which bodies are mandated to store the information.

Dr. Fred Matiangi the cabinet secretary for Information, Communication and Technology said in May that the bill is ready for tabling in the National Assembly. The bill will also safeguard the use of data in the upcoming National Digital Register that will collect crucial information from citizens.

South Africa successfully passed the data Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act last year, dictating how private and public bodies are to handle personal data. The Act allows one year for compliance.

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