President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has officially signed into law the Data Protection Bill of 2019.
The new data law will now require the setting up the office of the Data Commissioner and will outline the data protection process of personal data processed by both private and public entities.
For years, Kenya has been without a law that protects personal data collected by both government and private agencies.
The absence of the law formed a contention for those who were opposed to government’s move to collect data from Kenyans through the Huduma Namba drive.
The new law outlines key principles that will govern the processing of data as well as setting out the rights of data subjects and assigns duty to controllers and processors of data.
The new law also sets out conditions for transfer of personal data outside Kenya. It also provides for the exemption to processing of data, while putting across data offences and penalties.
Many multinationals had piled pressure on government to put in place a data protection law that will see Kenyans have the confidence to share their data with various agencies.
With the new law, Kenyans now have a right to demand to know how, where and when their data is used and for what purpose.
Data processors and handlers also will have to register and get clearance from the Officer of Data Commissioner.
The law was signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta after being presented before him by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Justine Muturi.
After signing the bill into law, the Head of State met with Amazon Web Services executives led by their vice president Teresa Carlson.
During the meeting, the President was informed that Amazon was in the process of setting up an “edge” location in Kenya.