Show accountability and compliance with Data Protection Act – Data Protection Commission tells ‘Data Controllers’

The Data Protection Commission has urged all ‘Data Controllers’ in the country to show their accountability and compliance with the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).

Speaking at the press launch of the first Africa Data Protection and Privacy conference to be held in Accra, Ms Patricia Adusei Poku, Commissioner, Data Protection Commission, said Act 843 sets out the rules and principles governing the collection, use, disclosure and care for personal data or information by a data controller or processor.

The press launch was sponsored by Ecobank Ghana.

She said compliance with Data Protection Act applies to organisations in all sectors, both public and private and third sectors/NGOs, hence the need to take it seriously.

The two-day conference, slated from June 26 to 27, was in partnership with the Network of African Data Protection Authorities, to mark an important milestone in the roadmap towards promoting the enactment of Data Protection and Privacy laws in Africa.

It will bring together international stakeholders, including; the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights to Privacy, the African Union, the East African Community, the European Union and UK Information Commissioner.

Ms Patricia Adusei Poku, the Commissioner of the Data Protection Commission, said countries across the Africa region were enacting Data Protection and Privacy laws and establishing Supervisory Authorities in response to the increased use of technology, the pace of digitisation and the exponential growth of activity in the global cyberspace.

She said the conference would bring together established authorities in Africa and their Global North counterparts for thought leadership, insight, best practice and high-level strategic content, providing a critical platform for promoting Africa’s drive for Data Protection and Privacy laws in Africa.

Some of the topics to be discussed include; ethical approaches and processing for the global good, data protection and privacy, and financial inclusion in Africa, data protection and cyber space.

The commission was established under the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843), to protect the privacy of the individual and personal data by regulating the processing of personal information.

The commission, she said, was committed to contributing effectively to the national transformation agenda by underpinning the efforts to safeguard and protect the rights of individuals through the enforcement of the requirements of the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).

Mrs Rita Aba Tsegah, Regional Head Corporate Communications and Marketing, speaking at the launch, said, “As a Pan African Bank with interest in the development of the sub-region, Ecobank looks forward to more African nations passing the protection act and an adoption of the convention 108+ as the international standard.”

She said with the propagation of broadband internet access and increasingly easy access to phones, exposure to information had become more likely.

Mrs Tsegah said unlike most developed countries where data-privacy laws provide some protection to internet users, in many African countries, there was little or no remedy if a data breach occurs because of lack of regulatory framework.

“In many cases where they do, however, enforcement of these laws also has its challenges,” she said.   

By David Adadevoh

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