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Kenya Joins The Global Community In Data Protection Standards



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Kenya has now joined the global community in terms of data protection standards. On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta approved a data protection law, which complies with European Union legal standards.

The new law will see the country attracted foreign firms with innovations such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money services. Earlier, the lack of safeguards in handling personal data had held it back from its full potential.

The new law will set out to lay down restrictions on how personally identifiable data obtained by firms and government entities will be handled, stored and shared, the government said, as it looks to bolster investment in the IT sector.

Joe Mucheru, the minister for information, technology and communication, Says the new law 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 Safaricom, Kenya Airways and tourist hotels will have to comply when handling personal data from clients, Mucheru said, as will phone-based lenders such as Mshwari.

Huge companies that had shied away from investing in the company have now shown willingness to set up shop. 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.

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


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