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Members of public warned on giving their personal details to unregistered individuals, groups

Members of the public have been cautioned against providing their personal information to unregistered individuals who ask for it.

Deputy Data Commissioner in the office of the Data Protection Commissioner, Rose Mosero has said people should enquire more before giving their personal data to any individual or groups.

Speaking on Friday during a sensitisation forum on data privacy and protection Act 2019 at a Murang’a hotel, Mosero observed that those handling personal data must be registered with the office of data protection commissioner.

She noted that some people may collect data and eventually misuse the information without owners’ consent.

“We have embarked to enlighten people on their responsibility for their personal information. We caution members of the public from giving their information to anyone without getting clear information where the data will be used,” she stated.

Any group or entity that handles personal data, Mosero said must be registered adding that this will ensure people’s private information is safeguarded from any abuse.

“Banks, hospitals, government agencies, supermarkets among other organisations and individuals, handling people’s personal information, must be registered with us,” she stated.

Mosero explained that there are two categories that handle personal data namely data controllers and data processors.

“Data controllers determine how the collected data is used and data processors handle the information on behalf of data controllers. Both data controllers and data processors must be registered with the commission,” she added.

The deputy data commissioner divulged that since the commission was established in November 2020, they have received more than 2, 800 claims from people who feel their data was infringed.

“Some of the claims have been arbitrated and fines and penalties imposed to those found guilty. People have the right to make claims and report on cases where their personal information has been mishandled,” added Mosero.

The deputy data commissioner further went ahead to caution the public to be aware of what they post on social media platforms. She noted some information may be sensitive, thus exposing them to ridicule adding that people with bad intentions may retrieve the information and misuse it.

Currently, the officers from the data commission are doing sensitisation forums in different parts of the country to keep Kenyans abreast of what the data commissioner is doing as enshrined by the law in data protection and to so get the buy-in of all stakeholders.

By Bernard Munyao

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