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Lobby Group Calls For Investigations Over Breach Of Personal Data By Political Parties



Lobby group, Amnesty International-Kenya has called for investigations over the recent revelation that a section of political parties might illegally have acquired personal data during their recruitment process.

To the dismay of many, some who have never registered for a political party, their names and other identification details are listed under membership of a certain parties-not even the son for former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s son, Raila junior who is listed as an Amani National Congress (ANC), was spared.

In a statement, Amnesty International-Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton said called on the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner to commence investigations into “complaints brought against the Office
of the Registrar of Political Parties and political parties by members of the public.”

He added that, “Political parties and all data controllers are obligated by the Data Protection Act to collect personal data directly from data subjects. Further, unequivocal, free, specific, and informed consent must always be obtained prior to any processing of personal data. Political parties should therefore take necessary steps to ensure compliance with data protection laws.”

The principles and obligations of personal data protection require data controllers and processors to ensure that personal data is accurate and kept up to date, with reasonable steps being taken to ensure that inaccurate personal data is erased or rectified without delay.

“The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties is thus duty bound by the Data Protection Act, 2019 to proactively ensure that personal data in the Integrated Political Parties Management System (IPPMS) is accurate,” the lobby group said in a statement.

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“We urge every aggrieved person to utilize the complaints mechanism provided for in the Data Protection Act, 2019 by filing a complaint with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.”

The anomaly was discovered after Kenyans took to an online platform on eCitizen to confirm their membership through a link shared by the office of Registrar of Political Parties last week.

Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu shared the link [email protected]  through which members of the public could verify their political party membership status.

“Recruitment of members is done by political parties according to individual party constitutions,” said the office of the registrar.

The office of the Registrar of Political Parties was undertaking a piloting Intiative of the online service, in a move meant to enhance services including the management of independent candidates, party membership recruitment and registration.

“This office will update the political parties’ management information system and link services to the eCitizen platform to leverage on the existing infrastructure,” she said.

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