The data protection bill has gone through its first reading in the National Assembly. The ministry had earlier accepted the Senate’s proposal to fix all the contentious clauses in the Data Protection and Privacy Bill, 2018.

Efforts to come up with a Data Protection Bill started in 2013. A draft Information and Communications Technology Policy of July 2016 had been submitted to the Ministry of ICT for review before being presented to the Cabinet for approval.

The Policy was meant to provide a clear and compelling roadmap to drive social, economic, cultural and political transformation through the effective use of Information and Communications Technology in line with the Vision 2030.

Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru said the draft policy incorporates emergent technologies such as Big Data, Over-the-Top content, Internet of Things, among others, which are multimedia platforms that deliver audio and video over the Internet without the involvement of multiple systems.

The Data Protection Bill prohibits government agencies from collecting and processing data on a person’s information, his race and ethnic origin, religious beliefs, political persuasions and health status unless there is a special reason to do so.

The bill also guarantees that the information collected by these institutions is processed in a lawfully and transparent manner, collected for legitimate purposes, accurate, not released to a third party and not kept for longer than necessary for the purposes for which it was collected.

If this bill passes, it will change the whole data collection landscape as it will guarantee Kenyans’ privacy as they go about their business and personal lives.

Read the National Assembly- The Data Protection Bill, 2019, here.