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Refrain from sharing personal contacts of individuals - Office of Data Protection warns

National
 Mombasa youths holding demonstrations against the Finance Bill 2024 within the Mombasa Law Courts on Wednesday 19th June 2024. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The Office of Data Protection has urged the public to refrain from sharing personal information including phone numbers of individuals stating that it infringes on individuals' right to privacy.

In a press statement on Wednesday, 19 June, the office stated that the move contradicts the Data Protection Act 2019 under Article 31 of the Constitution.

"The Office of the Data Protection Commission (ODPC) has established that there has been a recent trend of consolidating and sharing of personal information including names, telephone numbers, location and details of family members of a certain category of citizens through social media platforms," the office stated.

At the same time, ODPC has encouraged anyone whose privacy has been violated to file a complaint via [email protected] 

However, a section of Kenyans have reacted to the statement with a huge percentage dismissing the directive while pushing for accountability among the elected leaders.

"Condemn with the same energy the request by KRA to access private financial information without a court order," Godwin Murithi commented on the statement also shared on X.

"There are other lawful bases to process personal data. Not just Consent. In this case and for the most part sharing of some of these numbers is likely covered by the necessity arm. Also, did your office comment on the proposals by KRA to surveil Kenyans?,: a user by the handle My Thoughts asked.

"We will go as far as exposing where they live with their families. And even surround and demonstrate at their homes #RejectFinanceBill2024," Billy Richards posted.

"Can you educate me in a manner that pleases God how my area MPs name, which I found on the ballot paper during elections, and his number which I stumbled upon all the time in various campaign groups, and family members who they always parade during campaigns maybe to gain some sympathy, becomes private when they have gained the seats? Please explain," Edwin Manoti asked.

Earlier this week, a section of Kenyans were sharing Member of Parliament numbers including the President and his Deputy as a way of lobbying lawmakers to reject the contentious Finance Bill 2024.

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