Prioritizing Privacy: What Next for the ODPC and the ICT Sector?

KICTANet Thought Leadership Series
Date: Thursday 24 February 2022 | Time: 9:00am – 11:30am, via Zoom
Theme: “Prioritizing Privacy: What Next for the ODPC and the ICT Sector?

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Introduction

KICTANet in partnership with the UK Government Digital Access Program is pleased to host a Roundtable meeting on Privacy and Data Protection, whose theme shall be “Prioritizing Privacy: What Next for the ODPC and the ICT Sector?. The event shall take place on Thursday, 24 February 2022 from 9:00 am – 11:30 am via Zoom.

Background and Context

Kenya’s ICT sector continues to grow and evolve with dynamic shifts being noted especially with regards to the use of data. Increasingly, the right to privacy is coming under sharp focus, as technology continues to aid various use cases of personal data, which in some cases are resulting in abuse. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a drastic increase in the collection and processing of personal data not only for health but also for travel purposes. Also, social distancing rules led more people to transact online and make purchases through mobile money, thus sharing their personal data in the process.

In addition, remote work and e-learning have also become mainstream, further pushing more people online. Likewise, the use of social media platforms for communications and advertising and entertainment also mean more Kenyans are providing personal information to platforms more regularly. Notably, the adoption of e-government services, the upcoming election and the Huduma Namba Digital ID programmes highlights the scale of mass data collection programmes by the government, which databases could, if compromised, put the personal data of millions at risk.

In order to stem the possible misuse of personal data and provide for its protection, Kenya adopted its Data Protection Act in November 2019, coming into force more than a decade after the first draft was published. In January 2022, three regulations namely: the Data Protection (General) Regulations, 2021, Data Protection (Compliance and Enforcement) Regulations, 2021, Data Protection (Registration of Data Controllers and Data Processors) Regulations, 2021 were adopted. These regulations are expected to set the stage for the full implementation of the Data Protection Act.

The current Data Protection Commissioner, Ms Immaculate Kassait has since assuming office in November 2020, overseen a raft of progressive developments, including launching a 100 days’ Status Report highlighting the achievements towards safeguarding data privacy rights in February 2021; launching the ODPC Strategic Plan, Curriculum, various Guidance Notes, a Manual on Complaints Management, a Service Charter, website, social media platforms and the Office’s brand identity.

These developments are happening in an environment where data protection awareness remains relatively low. A recent poll commissioned by Amnesty International revealed that 67% of Kenyans were unaware of the Data Protection Act and only 18% of Kenyans were aware of the existence of the office of the Data Protection Commissioner. This means that a significant number of Kenyans, especially those in rural areas or are marginalized, are still unaware of their rights and as data subjects, many are unlikely to recognise or report data breaches. Moreover, the ODPC remains relatively underfunded and short-handed to meet the pressing needs in the immediate term.

KICTANet remains active in contributing to the development of the policy and institutional framework and submitted memoranda on the Data Protection Act and its regulations and participated in various stakeholder engagement meetings to champion for an appropriate policy and legal framework for the protection of privacy in Kenya. Further, KICTANet is collaborating with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner to promote stakeholder engagement and greater public awareness of the privacy and data protection frameworks in Kenya. Coming in the backdrop of the commemoration of the Data Protection Day, and in order to ensure success, KICTANet believes that ICT stakeholders should come together and identify strategic issues to focus on and address, while at the same time, supporting the realization of the right to privacy in the country, and promoting engagement among key stakeholders within the ICT sector on privacy and data protection.

Objectives of the Meeting
The main objectives of this action are to:

  • To promote multistakeholder engagement of ICT stakeholders on privacy and data protection in Kenya.
  • To identify and build consensus on priority actions and strategies to enable the ODPC and ICT stakeholders promote greater privacy and data protection in 2022.

Expected Outcomes.

  • Engaged ICT stakeholders on privacy and data protection in Kenya.
  • Identified priority actions and strategies to enable the ODPC and ICT stakeholders promote greater privacy and data protection in 2022.

Format of the Event

The event shall be a roundtable discussion, commencing with a brief introduction, a keynote followed by panel discussions where speakers will make their initial interventions (5-7 minutes). This will be followed by a plenary session for an interactive discussion among the speakers and the participants. The key recommendations shall be consolidated into a policy brief which shall be shared with stakeholders.

Participants
The meeting targets to bring together at least 40 key stakeholders such as government agencies, ODPC, private sector, technical community, social media platforms, professional associations, industry bodies, academia, civil society, DAP Partners, KICTANet Community, etc. to enhance partnerships, sharing of knowledge and as well as raise awareness on emerging best practice.

About the Organizers
KICTANet is a multistakeholder platform for people and institutions interested in ICT policy. The network acts as a think tank that catalyzes policy reforms in the ICT sector, and it is guided by four pillars: policy advocacy, stakeholder engagement, capacity building and research. KICTAnet’s guiding philosophy encourages synergies for ICT policy-related activities and initiatives. As such, the network provides mechanisms and a framework for continuing cooperation and collaboration in ICT matters among industry, technical community, academia, media, development partners, and Government.

Program

Time DESCRIPTION
09:00 am – 09:10 am Welcome and Introduction

  • Grace Githaiga, KICTANet
  • Nicole Gregory, UK Digital Access Program
09:10 am – 09:30 am Priorities and Needs of the ODPC in 2022

  • Ms Immaculate Kassait, Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC)
09:30 am – 10:40 am Panel Discussion: Priorities Actions for the ICT Sector

  • Elias Okwara, AccessNow (Civil society: Privacy, Digital ID & regional developments)
  • Juliet Maina, M-Pesa Africa (Fintech sector: e-commerce, mobile payments etc.)
  • Fiona Asonga, Technology Service Providers of Kenya (Telecommunications sector)
  • John Walubengo, Multimedia University /ISACA (Academia & IT Security)
  • Representative, KPMG (Sector Strategies) 

Moderator: Prof. Sylvia Kang’ara

10:40 am – 11:20 am Plenary Discussion: 

  • Questions and Answer Session

Moderator: Prof. Sylvia Kang’ara

11:15 am  – 11:30 am Closing and Way forward

  • KICTANet

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