DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY PORTAL LAUNCHEDIsaac Nsengiyunva
The Personal Data Protection Office in partnership with United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, and National Information Technology Authority, Uganda (NITA-U) has launched the Data Protection and Privacy web portal to ease reporting, processing and resolving of data protection and privacy complaints and ease registration of data controllers, data collectors and data processors.
The launch was officiated by Hon. Joyce Ssebugwawo, the Minister of State for ICT who commended the Personal Data Protection Office for the work they are doing as far as creating awareness and enforcement of the Data Protection and Privacy Act is concerned. She also encouraged the public to assert their data protection and privacy related rights as we embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution with a focus on harnessing the potential and opportunities that come with use of personal data on a large scale.
Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance in her remarks urged Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply with the act since they collect a lot of personal data from citizens and other residents in Uganda for provision of various Government services.
Dr. Hatwib Mugasa, the Executive Director NITA-Uganda noted that the launch of the Data Protection and Privacy portal will go a long way to address the knowledge gap on Data Protection and Privacy hence increasing levels of compliance and citizens’ trust on how their personal data is accessed and shared.
He also added that the launch of the awareness campaign called “Personal Data is Private” will also echo provisions of the law in places where privacy is rarely discussed, such as local communities upcountry that are increasingly using digital platforms to access Government services and yet they are most affected by privacy related issues, such as loss of their submitted information as established by the NITA-U National IT Survey 2017/2018 report.
Ms. Stella Alibateese, the National Personal Data Protection Director emphasised that the portal will provide a platform for individuals to easily file complaints with the Office through the portal itself, SMS and USSD; provide a channel through which personal data security breaches will be notified to the Personal Data Protection Office; enable persons who collect and process personal data register with the Office and act as a platform to promote knowledge about personal data protection and privacy best practices, guidelines and tips.
She also encouraged individuals to file complaints with the Office if they are concerned that their personal data protection rights have not been respected and they have not managed to resolve the matter with the organisation involved and; urged all organizations both public and private that collect and process personal data to register.
“I also urge all organizations both public and private that collect and process personal data that have not yet registered with us to do so immediately before the long arm of the law catches up with them since the grace period within which they should have done so elapsed on 31st December 2021”, Ms. Stella Alibateese, National Personal Data Protection Director.
Mr. Richard Ndahiro, Technical Advisor- Inclusive Digital Economy, UNCDF noted that the portal is being launched to ensure that individuals whose personal data has been misused have convenient avenues, such as the portal itself and USSD/SMS through which they can file their complaints. He thanked PDPO and the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance for the steps taken in addressing the risks in the digital transformation journey.
He further commended the PDPO for the efforts and visible achievements so far in the short time the Office has been in operation.
Since one of the modules of the portal was made accessible to the public earlier on 4th March 2022, over 345 organizations have been registered so far including financial institutions, insurance providers, health care management facilities, telecom companies, hotel and accommodation facilities, institutions of learning and a number of Government bodies.
The launch of the data protection and privacy portal will make the portal available to the public particularly by providing convenient avenues, such as the portal itself and SMS/USSD through which individuals may file their complaints if they are concerned that their personal data protection rights have not been respected and they have not managed to resolve the matter with the organization involved.