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Kenya commits to comply with data regulations

By , Kenya Correspondent
24 Apr 2024
Immaculate Kassait, Kenya's Data Commissioner.
Immaculate Kassait, Kenya's Data Commissioner.

Immaculate Kassait, Kenya's Data Commissioner, emphasised the importance of partnerships and collaborations in building an enabling climate for innovation.

Kassait has also restated her office's commitment to improving stakeholder engagement to allow cross-border data sharing and to assist businesses in complying with data protection legislation.

The Data Commissioner spoke at the Connected Africa Summit during a breakout session on "Data Privacy in Cross-Border Data Sharing Agreements, Protocols, and Policies."

The discussion focused on exploring opportunities for governments to collaborate on harmonising data privacy regulations, addressing challenges such as jurisdictional conflicts and data sovereignty issues, and examining policy gaps and regulatory frameworks required to ensure cross-border personal data protection.

Kenya, through the Office of the Data privacy Commissioner (ODPC), has led the way in lobbying for data privacy regulations.

The office recently issued new guideline notes for data protection in the education, communications, and digital credit sectors, as well as a general guide for processing health data.

According to ODPC, these advice notes are intended to help various industries understand and comply with data protection legislation.

This takes the total number of published guidance notes to eight, including guidance notes on permission, data protection impact assessment, data controller and data processor registration, and electoral purposes.

These new notes build on Kenya’s Data Protection Act (DPA), the country's primary data protection legislation which came into effect on November 25, 2019.

The Act imposes many obligations on data processors and data controllers regarding the processing of personal data.

Recently, ODPC also announced plans to organise a hackathon to promote a data protection culture among the country's data controllers and processors.

The hackathon will take place from the 3rd to the 6th of May, with winners receiving $1.600 (Ksh.200.000) in prize money.

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