[Kenya] Business and government leaders urged to adopt lead data practices
09-05-2019 11:44:37 | by: Nixon Kanali | hits: 3087 | Tags:

Most locally used mobile applications and websites collect data and do not safeguard user data as required by international best practices. This was discussed at a workshop organized by Mozilla and the Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK), yesterday.

One such app, for example, was found to ask for personal details even before you begin to use it and would share that data with insurance companies and lenders. In another instance, a popular local News mobile app was found to collect your social media data photo, friend network, gender, age, name and share with others for advertising. It was further found that many companies and organizations do not have Policies on their platforms and if they do have them, they are too long and complex for an ordinary person to understand.

The workshops, held in Nairobi, brought together CEOs, Government officials, and civil society organizations and their ICT teams to discuss data privacy, protection, and management.

In a bid to sensitize Kenyans on being hyper-vigilant, Mozilla’s head of product legal, Ms. Urmika Shah explained that once a person deletes an application from their mobile phone, they only uninstall the app and not the data stored in it. These unscrupulous service providers then continue to use user’s personal data for their purposes, including unwanted sending promotional messages.

“People should be proactive on an individual level in questioning why the data being asked for is needed, where it’ll be used and by whom,” said Ms. Shah. “It is important that you ask companies for their privacy policies and tell them your concerns regarding the use of your data.”

Keeping in mind that Kenya is yet to enact privacy and data protection legislation, concerns were raised on the privacy and security measures in and around the National Integrated Information Management System’s (NIIMS) Huduma Namba data collection and storage.

In light with these gaps in data privacy, protection, and management, Mozilla introduced for the first time in Africa a concept called Lean Data Practice (LDP); which is a framework that individuals should consider when giving their personal data away as well as for corporate and government organizations to think about when collecting and storing data.

“Lean Data Practices are important because they ensure that governments and companies collect only the data that is relevant and necessary for a particular process or activity. We are encouraging the government and companies to adopt the LDPs as a concept and as a practice,” said Alice Munyua, the Africa Policy Advisor for Mozilla.