Stakeholders trained on data protection

Counties Editor's Pick Governance West Pokot

At least 100 key stakeholders in various sectors of society in West Pokot County were taken through an induction training session on data protection to equip them with skills as the world turns digital.

Participants drawn from government institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), youth-led groups, women’s groups, community-based organizations, religious institutions, members of the security community, civil society, and the general public were sensitized on their rights to data protection.

The forum, which was held at the Horizon Hotel in Makutano town, was opened by West Pokot County Executive Committee Member for Public Service Management, Development Units, Administration, and ICT (CECM) Martin Lotee, who represented the area governor.

Lotee told the participants that the awareness and sensitization forum creates a platform to learn more about their rights to data protection mechanisms at work and at home.

“The forum creates a platform where employers can learn how important it is for them not to disclose employee information to third parties without a legal obligation to do so or the employee’s consent,” he said.

He went on: “Employees’ personal information should not be disclosed to third parties without their consent.”

However, he thanked the office of the data protection commissioner for organizing an awareness and sensitization forum in West Pokot while encouraging more forums of the same nature.

According to acting West Pokot Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Ruth Wachera, she called upon the participants who were sensitized to be good ambassadors of the public on the Data Protection Act and principles wherever they will be for their duties across the county.

Ms. Wachera urged data processors and controllers to uphold data privacy by ensuring the rights of data subjects are protected.

One of the speakers from the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, Mr. Yufus Momanyi, explained that the mission of the Data Protection Commissioner is to protect personal data in Kenya through compliance, enforcement, public awareness, and institutional capacity development.

Mr. Momanyi reiterated the need for data processors and controllers to comply with the law when handling any data.

He said individuals, every time they buy a product online, go for medication in hospitals, pay taxes, or enter into a contract, always hand over some of their personal data, and without their knowledge, some of their data could be used for things they have not requested or against their consent.

He warned against secret processors of individuals’ data without their consent.

“Individuals must be made aware of the collection and processing of their data, as well as the purpose of having their data used,” Momanyi emphasized.

Mr. Momanyi cautions parents and guardians that any decision concerning the data of a child should be in the best interest of the child, and data disclosed or used for the child should represent the best solution while upholding her or his rights to data protection.

He further said that data processors and controllers should be accountable for and demonstrate compliance with Data Protection Act Section 25.

He called upon data processors and controllers to ensure they protect individuals and their data as well as respect their rights to privacy when handling any data.

By Anthony Melly

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