ODPC Hosts Media Training on Editors to Enhance Understanding of Data Protection Laws

ODPC Hosts Media Training on Editors to Enhance Understanding of Data Protection Laws

MACHAKOS, Kenya, July 7 – The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) hosted editors from various media houses for a training forum on data protection which is aimed at enhancing understanding of data protection laws.

The event which was organized in partnership with the Media Council of Kenya was graced by Victor Bwire, the Director of Media Training and Development, and Oscar Otieno, the Deputy Data Commissioner, who represented the Data Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait, and the Media Council of Kenya Chief Executive Officer (CEO), respectively.

Oscar Otieno, the Deputy Data Commissioner, who spoke on behalf of the Data Commissioner lauded ODPC’s partnership with the media, who have always played a key role in the ODPC’s strategic objective of raising awareness on data protection.

“This training is aimed to facilitate ongoing discussions on the Data Protection Act and provide an opportunity for the editors to learn more about the technical processes at the ODPC in undertaking its mandate of regulating the processing of personal data in Kenya.”

ODPC interaction with media houses is essential in creating a data conscious society which in turn promotes public trust, ethical journalism and legal compliance when processing data.

Some of the key topics highlighted during the training include the complaints process, specifically the technical processes taken in the complaints handling mechanism, such as the issuance of enforcement notices and penalty notices.

The journalists were also sensitized on the compliance journey for data controllers and data processors, covering subtopics on the rights of data subjects, the conduct of advisories, data protection impact assessments, and more.

In her remarks, he highlighted some of the key milestones made at the office including:

  1. Issuance of registration certificates to 5,923 entities, demonstrating their compliance with data protection regulations.
  2. In addition, the Complaints, Investigation, and Enforcement department has received a total of 5,702 complaints and resolved 5,026 out of these.
  3. The ODPC has taken swift action on these complaints, issuing 120 determinations, Sixty Four(64) enforcement notices, and nine (9) penalty notices to ensure that data controllers and processors comply with data protection regulations.
  4. We have published eight guidance notes whose objective is to allow for the streamlining of data processing operations in the following identified sectors
  5. We have issued 168 advisories to various institutions and conducted a total of 64 audits since the enactment of the Act. Out of these audits, 20 were on public sector, 44 on private sector including 23 entities linked to digital credit providers (The total number of digital credit providers audited were 40 since some entities had multiple products.
  6. We have conducted more than 200 trainings for both public and private organisations targeting more than 1,000 individuals.

Victor Bwire, while acknowledging the challenges in the emerging issues such as data protection, called on the ODPC to prioritize its relationship with the media to empower their understanding of data protection and help in the delivery of information.

“Data Protection is a very keen topic that I am glad we are learning today. It touches on nearly every aspect of activities. This is the one among many trainings, and I commend the ODPC for this initiative aimed at deepening the media’s understanding of data protection,” he said.

He urged journalists to adhere to the journalistic code of conduct, which mirrors what is in the data protection law, to ensure they remain compliant with the law. Let us become champions of data protection.

Bwire further called upon the editors to utilize their platforms to educate the general public on the laws in order to improve the understanding of data protection laws and enhance the culture of data privacy in Kenya

The Head of Communication at ODPC Dalton Mbondo, on his part underscored the importance of building relationships with media especially in the wake of rapidly evolving technological landscape that poses increased risks on privacy rights of Kenyans

“We have witnessed many enquiries from media on various many issues that necessities such forums to solidify our understanding on data protection and subsequently raise awareness and shape the reporting of data protection news stories reporting to the masses, I am positive that this forum will go a long way in enhancing our relationships,” Mbondo said.

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