Open Institute touches ground to demystify Data Protection Act for Kenyans


Open Institute’s CEO Al Kags. PHOTO | COURTESY
Open Institute’s CEO Al Kags. PHOTO | COURTESY

Open Institute has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure all crucial Data Protection information is understood by the public.

Open Institute’s CEO Al Kags revealed that the organization’s Data Governance programme will take lead in ensuring that Kenyans are aware of the impact and ramifications of the Data Protection Act.

This he said includes their rights and responsibilities and the recourse they could take if their data is misused.

“The youth are unaware of the dangers of exposing their valuable data online. They are also unaware of legislation that empowers them to question how their data is collected. We need to meet them where they are,”  he said.

He was speaking on Monday during the launch of countrywide one month #FichaUchi campaign that involves strengthening visibility of the Data Protection Act and its relevance to citizens’ lives,

The nationwide campaign comes days after a three-day public participation forum on the proposed Data Protection Regulations.

Ficha Uchi seeks to demystify the Data Protection concept by providing factual, age-appropriate information about Data Protection.

Al Kags expressed concern that many Kenyans especially the youth who dominate the digital space are not conversant with what the Act means to their own safety.

Kenya has a population of 47.5 million citizens with 35.7 million of them (75.1%) below 35 years.

Data from Q1 ICT sector statistics report for FY 2020/2021 shows that there are more than 59.84 million mobile subscriptions in Kenya.

Data/ Internet Total Subscriptions are estimated at 43 million. Mobile money agents are over 245,000 with money transfers valued in trillions.

All this is personal data in the hands of data controllers and data processors. In the same period, more than 35 million cyber threats were detected.

“Data Protection is considered a fairly complex concept. The Data Protection Act is in force, though many Kenyans are not aware of its provisions. As an organisation and through this initiative, our end result is to create awareness and simplify issues around data protection for the consumption of the regular Kenyan citizen as we work to empower them to protect their data,” Kags added.

Open Institute welcomed other stakeholders to join them on the ground as they empower Kenyans by simplifying Data Protection information for them for the greater good.

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