Ministry of ICT to Name Data Commissioner Within Fortnight

Kenya's 2019 data protection legislation was supposed to offer a framework for the government to acquire citizens' data in a transparent and rights-respecting manner

Joseph Mucheru Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications on Sunday assured the public that he will name a Data Commissioner within a fortnight.  

According to Mucheru, the use of technology has increased because of the Covid-19 pandemic and they are working with internet providers to ensure citizens are protected.

“We are working on ensuring cyberspace is safe for everyone… Data protection law is already is place. We shall be employing a commissioner in two weeks’ time. Our goal is to protect people’s privacy,” Mucheru said alongside his Health Ministry counterpart Mutahi Kagwe during the daily COVID-19 briefings.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is an office established by section 5 (i) of the Data Protection Act, 2019. 

The Data Protection Bill, 2019, was signed into law on the 8th of November 2019.

The office is designated as a State Office in accordance with Article 260 (q) of the Constitution.

According to the law, “The Data Protection Commissioner is obligated to implement the Act, establish and maintain a register of data controllers and data processors, exercising oversight on data processing operations and receiving/ investigating any complaint by any person on infringement of the rights under the Act.”

He also directed the Communication Authority and mobile service providers to establish measures to protect children against bad online content.

In May, Mercy Wanjau, Ag. Director-General Communications Authority revealed that since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, 16, 450, 346 cyber threat events had been detected.

On Sunday, Kenya recorded 260 new COVID-19 cases, the largest number of infections on a single day pushing the number of infections in the country to 4,738 since March when the first case was confirmed.