NAIROBI, Kenya, November 3 – The Principal Secretary State Department of ICT and the Digital Economy, Eng. John Kipchumba Tanui, officiated the launch of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner Nakuru Regional Office today.
The Nakuru regional office becomes the second launched regional office after the Mombasa Regional Office, which was launched three months ago.
The launch of this regional office aligns with the ODPC Strategic Plan 2022/23- 2024/25, which recognizes the need to cascade the operations of the ODPC to the devolved units of government.
The Nakuru Office will serve as a central hub for data protection services in the region, providing guidance and support to organizations and individuals in understanding and complying with data protection laws.
Speaking at the launch, PS Tanui noted that the launch is a testament to the Government’s commitment to decentralize and strengthen the data protection institutional framework to handle data security and privacy concerns in a more efficient and effective manner.
“With the opening of this regional office, it is hoped that the services offered by the Office of Data Protection Commissioner will be more accessible to more Kenyans, providing guidance on how to register as data handlers and how to seek redress in cases of data breaches” he said.
He assured the ODPC of the Ministry’s support in advancing data protection initiatives across the country and in aligning the Country’s ambition to be a leader in enabling data protection framework which will inspire confidence and trust for businesses to thrive.
Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait, MBS, on her part urged the general public and organisations to visit the office to learn more about their rights as data subjects and compliance obligations and requirements.
The Kenyan digital transformation agenda recognizes data as key enabler of digital trade to spur our economic growth. By bringing the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner closer to people, we aim to create more solid partnerships and foster a culture of data protection, enhance inclusivity and accessibility of data protection services to the public
She acknowledged that there is an increase in citizenry awareness on data privacy with more Kenyans taking more control over their personal data further assuring that more still needs to be done to ensure compliance with Data Protection laws.
She emphasized that the presence of the Nakuru Regional Office will facilitate awareness campaigns at the grassroots level, thereby enhancing data protection.
“We firmly believe in everyone’s right to control their personal information, and this regional office will ensure that everyone is involved in efforts to enhance trust and transparency in data protection in Kenya. Let us collaborate to build a robust data protection ecosystem that fosters trust, innovation, and responsible data practices,” stated the Data Commissioner.
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika, in her speech read by her deputy David Kones noted that the launch is helpful and will guide organisations including Government agencies in Nakuru how to comply to data protection, specifically how to process personal data to avoid litigation.
“I urge organisations to apply strong data protection safeguards within their policies to not only protect customers data but build the reputation and build trust when offering services,” she said.
Nakuru County Commissioner – Loyford Kibaara assured the support of the County Commissioner in ensuring people are sensitized on the data protection laws.
The ODPC has established its presence in Kisumu and Mombasa and in Huduma Centres in Nyeri, Garissa, and Eldoret. The Office is working on establishing offices across ten additional regions across the country.