Data Protection Insights and Trends to Look Out For in 2023

Immaculate Kassait Kenya’s First Data Commissioner

As we start the new year, I want to share some trends we can anticipate in the coming months. Most of these trends began to take shape in 2022.

More Data Protection Signups

More countries signing up for Data Protection regulatory framework across Africa and the globe, with examples of Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is an indication of increased seriousness around data protection matters.

Global partnerships

Many organizations will be getting into collaborations to facilitate trade, and international data flows. For example, the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) partnership between Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Singapore and Chinese Taipei.

An increase in adequacy decisions by the European Commission

This is a green light to vouch for the respective countries’ data protection legal frameworks. Kenya is looking into getting an adequacy decision in the future, following discussions held during the ODPC Europe trip last year.

More conversations on data flows

Many multinationals, data protection authorities, and regional institutions will continue to discuss how to ease the movement of information from country to country or continent to continent with less restriction to enhance cross-border business. From a regional standpoint, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the African Union (AU) are spearheading such conversations with the launch of AU’s Data Policy Framework in 2022.

Heightened consumer privacy expectations

With the increased awareness creation, consumers are progressively more informed about their data rights. They expect data controllers and processors to respect their privacy by processing, storing, and transferring their personal data safely.

Increased scrutiny on digital marketing.

Marketers largely rely on personal data provided by consumers to make decisions. There’s a need to balance using this information to influence consumers’ purchasing habits and allowing the consumer to decide the kind of information they want.

Insurance firms taking up data protection as a premium.

With the high risks associated with data privacy for both individuals and organizations, we will see more insurance companies offering products to take advantage of the opportunity.

More academic institutions restructuring their curricula to include data privacy courses.

I look forward to seeing how these trends and insights will improve our data protection space locally. Are there other data privacy trends you anticipate this year?

This commentary by Immaculate Kassait, MBS, Commissioner – Office of the Data Protection Commission -Kenya, originally appeared on LinkedIn on 10 January 2023.


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