George Obulutsa and Duncan Miriri at Reuters: “Kenyan 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.
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….
A lack of data protection legislation has also hampered the government’s efforts to digitize identity records for citizens.
The registration, which the government said would boost its provision of services, suffered a setback this year when the exercise was challenged in court.
“The lack of a data privacy law has been an enormous lacuna in Kenya’s digital rights landscape,” said Nanjala Nyabola, author of a book on information technology and democracy in Kenya….(More)”.