Data commissioner nominee and former IEBC director, Immaculate Kassait is being vetted by the National Assembly Communication, Information and Innovation committee. Kassait, who was nominated by President Kenyatta, will today stand before the committee, chaired by Marakwet MP William Kisang, to be evaluated on whether she is suitable to oversee and protect the privacy and data of Kenyans.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Justin Muturi had tasked the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information, and Innovation to undertake the vetting process and produce a report which will be tabled before parliament.
According to the law, the Data Commissioner will be responsible for the enforcement of the Data Protection Act with duties such as exercising oversight on data processing operations, establish and maintain a register of data controllers and data processors, promoting self-regulation among data controllers, and receiving and investigating any complaint by any person on infringement of the rights under the Act
Kassait served as Director of Voter Education Partnership and Communication at IEBC since 2019. Previously she was the Director Voter Registration and Electoral Operation for 9 years. She has worked at the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) a leading NGO in the areas of elections in Kenya and the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya) as a Programme Officer in the Women’s Rights and Advocacy Programme.
In September, the PSC invited Kenyans to re-apply to the position of Data Commissioner after the first shortlist was scrapped off by a Nairobi Court, for not following procedure. This exercise attracted 126 applications. Following the conclusion of the shortlisting exercise, the commission published names and interview schedules of the shortlisted candidates, calling for the public to comment on any of the candidates. Immaculate Kassait was one of the shortlisted candidates.
If approved, Kassait will be Kenya’s first data commissioner, giving effect to the Data Protection Law.