Committee conducts public hearing on the Data Protection Bill

Written By: Kevin Wachira

The National Assembly Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation Chaired by Hon. William Kisang today conducted a public hearing on the Data Protection Bill, 2019 in County Hall, Parliament Buildings.

The National Assembly is considering a bill which if approved will introduce a licence fee for online users who make money using the internet.

Stakeholders of the online sector submitted their reservations with some clauses of the bill before the National Assembly Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation chaired by Hon. William Kisang saying the provision is draconian especially to online start-ups.

The Committee has so far received submissions from Amnesty International and Google Kenya.

CODE-IP TRUST Executive Director Alex Gakuru called on the members of parliament to repeal the section arguing majority of unemployed youth were surviving through doing business using social media and other online platforms.

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” We should put a threshold to determine who is legible to pay the licence fee. Small online businesses like academic writers and those selling clothes via facebook should be allowed to grow.” submitted Gakuru.

The stakeholders also raised issue with the section 33 of the proposal law which seeks to collect and archive personal data of children for future use. The stakeholders feel such data can be used to condemn a person for deeds he did during his/her childhood.

“All personal data relating to a child collected, processed and or archived must be deleted upon the child becoming an adult unless that information is of best interest to the child.” said Google Kenya representative Michael Murungi.

If enacted, the law will establish data protection commission that will regulate data collection, management and sharing.

Online stakeholders want the office to data protection commissioner be independent from influence of government of the day.



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