Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law the Data Protection Bill 2018 seeking to enhance consumer privacy.
The protection law which complies with European Union legal standards will set the stage for establishing the office of the Data Commissioner and underlining the requirements of the protection of personal data processed by both public and private entities.
“It further outlines key principles that will govern data processing, sets out the rights of data subjects and assigns duties to data controllers and data processors,” said Kenyatta.
While Kenya has been a bedrock of emergent innovation with startups and global technology companies setting base in the country, the country has always lacked a comprehensive data protection mechanism.
The law complies with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which came into effect in May 2018 and sets the guidelines for the transfer of personal data outside Kenya.
It also provides guidelines on how information shall be collected, processed, stored or dealt without intruding on the privacy of the data subject; whilst underlining where rights to personal data is limited – in the case of national security, safeguarding rights of the data subject or another person, public interest or compliance with an obligation imposed by law.
According to the bill, a person who collects or processes personal data in any manner contrary to the provisions of this Act commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or to both.