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What Sh5.7b Google fine can do for Kenya

By Valentine Kondo | January 22nd 2019
The fine can sustain various institutions in Kenya’s economy as well as support President Kenyatta’s Big Four plan. [Photo: Courtesy]

Google has been given a 50 million Euro (Sh5.7 billion) fine in France over data protection failures, particularly focusing on how it processed personal data for advertising services.

CNIL, the French commission for monitoring abuses of data privacy laws claims that Google has not obtained valid authorization to use people's data. It claims that the information people need to make informed choices is hidden in complex agreements and that is "diluted in several documents and does not enable the user to be aware of their extent".

The commission also says that Google's information on advert personalization doesn't offer clarity over how and where their data is used on its services. Those might include YouTube, Google Search, Maps, Google Play and other services.

The fine which is equivalent to Sh5.76 billion, can sustain various institutions in Kenya’s economy as well as support President Kenyatta’s Big Four plan.

It can build 12 leather industries worth of Sh0.4 billion that the National Treasury budgeted for in 2018/19 fiscal year.

The penalty can modernize close to three RIVATEX industries worth of Sh1.4 billion according to 2018/19 budget.

It can further sustain six Elderly and Disabled Health Insurance Subsidy Programme worth of Sh0.8 billion and the rollout of universal health coverage to four counties on a pilot basis twice in a row worth of Sh2.5 billion.

On matters affordable housing, the penalty can build twice the social housing units’ budget which according to the national budget goes for Sh3 billion and is thrice the amount allocated for the construction of housing units for police and Kenya Prison officers whose budget stands at Sh1.5 billion.

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The price can sustain two budgets in a row for the School Feeding Programme worth of Sh2 billion and sustain recruitment of additional teachers to balance teacher to student ratio worth of Sh5 billion.

It is twice the amount allocated to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Department of Public Prosecutions worth of Sh2.9 billion each in 2018/19 financial year.

The cost can sustain budgets of Lamu County (Sh3.5 billion), Tharaka Nithi (Sh3.6 billion), Elgeyo Marakwet (Sh3.8 billion) and Isiolo (Sh3.9 billion) for one and half financial years.

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