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ODPC to institute reforms to accommodate special groups

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) is in the process of updating its regulations and policies to accommodate special interest groups.

According to the Principal Registration and Certification Officer at the ODPC Mr. Boniface Gathee, the office is working on legal reforms on the Data Protection Act of 2019 to ensure that it accommodates the concerns raised by People with Disability and other special groups.

“Basically, data should be presented to you in a way that you can read and understand. We are still updating our regulations and policies to fully capture and take care of the special groups,” he said.

“We are also trying to do some legal reforms so that we adequately bring out the aspects that affect these special interest groups within the Data Protection Act,” added Gathee who was speaking during a Data Protection sensitization forum in Nyeri.

Additionally, Gathee urged members of the public to embrace the online method to lodge their data related complaints.

He noted that in addition to putting in place safeguards to regulate and protect the rights of data subjects, the ODPC website had set up an elaborate online platform to allow members of the public and the different categories of data handlers to access the various services offered by the ODPC.

“You can file your complaint on your phone or your computer as long as you have the internet. When people file a complaint, we acknowledge it within seven days. The matter is then investigated and a determination is issued. Notably, the powers of the ODPC’s determination are legally binding because they can only be appealed in the High court,” said Gathee.

As at May this year, the ODPC had received a total of 2,675 complaints from members of the public. Out of these, 857 cases have been admitted while close to 80 per cent of the complaints were dismissed with the Data Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait, citing that a majority of the complaints had been filed by third parties. Similarly, the office declined complaints that had been anonymously filed or duplicated.

By Wangari Mwangi


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