Did you know that as an individual, Kenyan companies that have your personal information will have to be granted permission by you before collecting, processing or storing personal data? This will be possible once The Data Protection Bill, 2018, becomes law.

Sponsored by the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Information, Communication, and Technology – and Baringo County Senator, Gideon Moi, the Bill contains clauses and provisions that will change how companies handle the information they have access to, therefore protecting their consumers’ right to privacy.

The Bill recognizes that data protection forms part and parcel of the expectation of the right to privacy.

The Bill seeks to give life to Article 31 of the Constitution 2010 which states, “Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have their person, home or property searched, their possessions seized, information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed, or the privacy of their communications infringed.”

The Bill states that information shall be collected, processed, stored directly related to a lawful, explicitly defined purpose and shall not intrude on the privacy of the data subject. In addition, information shall be collected directly from and with the consent of the data subject. Where information relating to the data subject is held by a third party, the information may only be released to another person or put to a different use with the consent of the data subject.

Anyone whose data has been requested has the right to know what your information will be used for and who will use such information, and that they will not keep your information longer than necessary.

The bill has a provision on how your information will be distributed. The distribution should be compatible with the purpose for which it was collected and also take reasonable steps to ensure that the process is accurate, up to date and complete. You will also have the right of access to the information collected and can demand correction if the information obtained about you is inaccurate, as it is deemed in section 35 of the constitution.

This will be a reprieve to many Kenyans who find themselves at crossroads on what to do when these agencies sell their data to the highest bidder. If the bill becomes law, Kenyans will breathe a sigh of relief as there will be guaranteed privacy on their data.

Find the bill here.