Kenya: Data Protection Office Begins Countrywide Awareness Campaign

Nairobi — The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has launched a countrywide awareness campaign that seeks to inform members of the public on their rights to data protection.

The pilot phase, which targets Machakos, Tana River, and Garissa counties, kicked off in Machakos, where the Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait joined the county’s Assistant County Commissioners.

Others were Elijah Chilwe and the devolved unit’s coordinator, the National Government Affirmative Action Fund’s Martin Kioko.

The event, which was organized with support from Amnesty International and the Open Institute, is part of its 2022-23-2024-25 strategic plan.

More than 100 people were drawn from government-allied institutions, women’s and youth-led groups, civil societies, and the general public.

“The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 guarantees every person the right to privacy. Our aim is to sensitize Kenyans and ensure they start appreciating their rights as stipulated in the Data Protection Act,2019,” Kassait said.

She added that the awareness sessions will enable data controllers and processors to appreciate their obligations and compliance requirements for data protection.

“The office has made tremendous strides since operations began more than two years ago, the county outreach program is part of our initiatives to increase public awareness, establish partnerships, and engage with ‘mwananchi’ at the local level,” she said.

Machakos Assistant County Commissioner urged data controllers and processors to register with the office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

“The digital superhighway & creative economy is at the core of the government’s agenda therefore calling the need to put in place safeguards that will protect the processing of personal data,” he pointed out.

Kioko, on his part, urged all stakeholders, especially representatives of caucus groups, to spread the message of data protection, which is a key aspect in the growth of the country’s digital economy.

In an effort to drive access to ODPC services at the regional level, this year the office plans to establish offices in the counties, starting with Kisumu, Nakuru, and Mombasa, to enhance access to services at the regional level.

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