';
×
× Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday approved a data protection law, which complies with European Union legal standards as it looks to bolster investment in its information technology sector.

The East African nation has attracted foreign firms with innovations such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money services, but the lack of safeguards in handling personal data has held it back from its full potential, officials say.

“Kenya has joined the global community in terms of data protection standards,” Joe Mucheru, minister for information, technology and communication, told Reuters.

The new law sets out restrictions on how personally identifiable data obtained by firms and government entities can be handled, stored and shared, the government said.

SEE ALSO: You can’t stop my bid, Ruto tells ‘deep state’

Mucheru said it complies with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which came into effect in May 2018 and said an independent office will investigate data infringements.

Companies such as Kenya Airways and tourist hotels will have to comply when handling personal data from clients, Mucheru said, as will phone-based lenders such as Safaricom, which amasses personal data through services offered jointly with local banks.

Amazon Web Services, part of the Amazon group, said on Friday it will set up part of its cloud infrastructure in Kenya, adding it was encouraged by the new law. It did not give a value for the new investment.

Teresa Carlson, vice president of Amazon Web Services, said the new law paves the way for the company’s investment in Nairobi, according to a government news release.

Those violating the law face a maximum fine of Sh3 million or two years in jail, a copy of the law seen by Reuters showed.

SEE ALSO: More police officers deployed as construction of Nairobi Expressway starts

“It will come down to implementation and enforcement but, we have been waiting on this for seven years so it is a start,” said Nanjira Sambuli, a senior policy manager at the World Wide Web Foundation, a web access advocacy group.

A lack of data protection legislation has also hampered the government’s efforts to digitise identity records for citizens.

Covid 19 Time Series

 


Joe Mucheru Uhuru Kenyatta
Share this story

Read More

Feedback