Kenya’s Knowledge Safety Commissioner takes purpose at mortgage apps

Kenya’s Knowledge Safety Commissioner takes purpose at mortgage apps

The Kenya Workplace of the Knowledge Safety Commissioner (ODPC) has reportedly been working diligently over the previous two years. One among its mandates was to manage the web lending platform, which was characterised by flagrant private abuses. Nonetheless, what’s stopping it from reaching its full potential?

The Kenya Workplace of The Knowledge Safety Commissioner (ODPC) was instituted over two years in the past. It was established underneath the Knowledge Safety Act (DPA) 2019, which was signed by former Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta. The legislation was designed to guard the non-public knowledge of Kenyan residents and residents. It units out a number of necessities for organisations that accumulate, course of, or retailer private knowledge, together with acquiring consent from people earlier than accumulating their knowledge, maintaining the information safe, and solely utilizing the information for the needs for which it was collected. 

The ODPC started executing its features in 2020, however didn’t collaborate with the media to make clear its mandate. Native media usually holds substantial energy in creating consciousness because it reaches an unlimited inhabitants straight. The ODPC rectified its oversight at present, when it met with the media and different stakeholders such because the Media Council of Kenya.

Talking on the engagement, Immaculate Kassait, the Kenya Knowledge Commissioner said, “It’s also good for us because it permits us continued engagement on the Act whereas breaking any communications obstacles on future engagements. It additionally presents a chance for suggestions which can go a great distance in bettering how we function as envisioned within the Knowledge Safety Act.” 

Media participation is indispensable in relation to sensitising the general public about knowledge safety. As such, the ODPC now goals to additional educate and actively contain the media in understanding the Knowledge Safety Act, the workplace’s mandate, laws, and vital accomplishments.

Knowledge processors and controllers

A number of  points got here up in the course of the session between the ODPC and the Kenyan media. One problem raised spoke to the truth that many organisations aren’t registered as knowledge controllers or knowledge processors. Knowledge controllers usually decide the needs and technique of processing private knowledge, whereas knowledge processors course of private knowledge on behalf of the information controller. Registering as knowledge processors and controllers ensures that organisations adjust to knowledge safety laws and keep the privateness and safety of private knowledge they deal with. Up to now, the ODPC has solely registered just a little over 2200 knowledge processors and controllers.

On the assembly, the ODPC revealed that media corporations might want to register as knowledge processors and controllers within the coming days. That is needed as a result of media corporations course of and management knowledge to know their viewers, ship personalised content material, and optimise promoting. These organisations additionally accumulate and analyse varied knowledge sorts resembling demographics and searching behaviour to make knowledgeable selections and meet trade requirements.

Kenya media corporations could also be requested to register as knowledge processors and controllers within the coming days.

Mortgage apps proceed to pose a menace

On the assembly, the Workplace remarked that it’s undecided on how a lot to effective corporations that abuse private knowledge. By legislation, responsible organisations will be fined as much as KES 5 million ($364,000), which isn’t punishing sufficient for organisations that return huge earnings in accordance with the media. Nonetheless, the Knowledge Commissioner talked about that this might change sooner or later. 

An unregulated on-line lending panorama gave mortgage apps free rein to harass Kenyans for years. In reality, it may be argued that lack of laws was what motivated the signing of the Knowledge Safety Invoice, 2019. Previous to the signing of the Invoice, on-line lenders may supply loans to locals and cost arbitrary rates of interest. These mortgage apps capitalised on Kenyans’ urge for food for loans, reducing the entry barrier and offering collateral-free loans in order that anybody with a cell cash account and a smartphone may apply. 

Nonetheless, these on-line lenders started toblatantly abuse the non-public knowledge they collected, utilizing shaming and predatory techniques to compel defaulting debtors to pay. . 

Following the establishment of the DPA, strides have been made in the direction of regulating the trade., 32 mortgage apps out of tons of have been licensed to run their operations within the nation. Licensed apps should adjust to set standards resembling implementing safety measures to guard person knowledge, having a bodily workplace, and never usingunderhanded techniques when recovering their loans.

Knowledge abuse instances are reported poorly

In response to the Knowledge Commissioner, the Workplace has obtained a complete of two,675 complaints, 857 of which have been acknowledged. These complaints are important as a result of they present that Kenyans are nonetheless cautious of their on-line security and have a platform the place they will report abuse. The ODPC attributed the low variety of acknowledged instances to a number of causes, together with the submission of nameless or duplicate complaints or complaints exterior the Workplace’s jurisdiction, the submitting of unauthorised complaints on the behalf of others, and complaints from people evading contractual obligations. In response to the ODPC, such actions undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the criticism system. 

“The ODPC solely admits complaints the place the potential knowledge breach is towards oneself or the place directions are offered for one to be represented by a 3rd social gathering,” added the Knowledge Commissioner.

Kenya to host the 2024 NADPA Common Meeting

Lastly, Kenya has received the bid to host the 2024 NADPA Common Meeting, as introduced in the course of the sixth Annual Common Assembly held in Burkina Faso on Could 11, 2023. NADPA is a community of African privateness and knowledge safety authorities geared toward facilitating exchanges and cooperation amongst its members.

Kenya has been elected as the first Vice Chair to the NADPA board, whereas Madam Samody Tchimouden Hadatam from Niger Knowledge Safety Authority has been elected because the Chair.

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