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Comply with data protection laws — Commission

BY: Daily Graphic

The Commissioner of the National Data Protection Commission, Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku, has urged organisations to comply with the Data Protection Act in all aspects of their operations.

Speaking to the media on Friday as a precursor to the first Africa Data Protection and Privacy Conference to be held in Accra from June 26 to 27, Madam Adusei-Poku also urged all “Data Controllers” in the country to show compliance and accountability with the Data Protection Act.

The act sets out the rules and principles governing the collection, use, disclosure and care for personal data or information by a data controller or processor.

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

Privacy laws

The two-day conference which will be held in collaboration with Ecobank would mark an important milestone in the roadmap towards promoting the enactment of Data Protection and Privacy laws in Africa.

The conference, which is expected to bring together established authorities in Africa and other parts of the world, would provide a critical platform for promoting Africa’s drive for Data Protection and Privacy laws in Africa.

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It would 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.

Madam Adusei-Poku 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.

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.

Personal data

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 said it 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).

The Regional Head Corporate Communications and Marketing,Mrs Rita Aba Tsegah, 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.”

Broadband Internet

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 provided some protection to internet users, in many African countries, there was little or no remedy if a data breach occurred because of lack of regulatory framework.