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ODPC urges Department Heads to lead the charge for data safety

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has urged Heads of Departments to be key drivers of data protection as part of ongoing efforts to ensure data safety across across various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government.

Addressing a gathering during an awareness sensitization program in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu, North Rift Regional Head, Katumbi Mailu, the North Rift Regional Head of the ODPC, emphasized the ODPC’s commitment to the continued promotion of data safety.

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“Leaving data and documents accessible to unauthorized individuals is a risk we cannot afford. Embracing a clear desk policy ensures that data is only accessible to authorized personnel,” said Mailu.

Mailu stressed that data protection is a global concern, alerting departmental heads of the need for updated, collected, and safeguarded data, a mandate derived from the Data Protection Act (DPA), 2019, aligning with the constitutional right to privacy.

Mailu urged departmental heads to adopt the principles of data protection, which include lawfulness, fairness and transparency, integrity and confidentiality, purpose limitation, data minimization, storage limitation, accuracy, and accountability, to ensure that data is only accessible to authorized persons.

She lauded the ODPC for its achievements, including active DPA enforcement, office automation with Content Management System (CMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and maintaining an up-to-date register of data controllers and processors.

She went on to shed light on the lawful basis of processing personal data, involving consent, performance contracts, legal obligations, vital interests, public interest, and authority across government priority areas such as agriculture, health, housing, digital infrastructure, MSMEs, and more.

Gene Gituku/KNA
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