Data protection and privacy law is not anti media

Ministry of information, communication and Technology cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru today said data protection law will not hinder government from accessing personal information.

The CS noted that government will use the personal data for the benefit of Kenyans especially for the interest of the country.

Mucheru was speaking when he presided over the stakeholders consultations on the proposed draft policy and bill on data protection and privacy forum at the Kenya National Museum.

“Data protection and privacy law will not contradict national security, courts and Kenya Revenue Authority [KRA] from collecting tax because it’s for the interest for the country” he said.

He expressed concern why some section of Kenyans were annoyed by KRA action on using National Hospital Insurance Fund [NHIF] data to identify those Kenyans who do not pay tax but have been earning income.

“ it’s unfortunate that we have over 19 millions Kenyan registered voters in the country but only three million Kenyans make their tax returns to KRA” Mucheru wondered adding that then the action of the tax authority was rightly using the personal Data for the benefit of Kenyans.

The CS also supported the collection of personal data for ongoing lifestyle audit saying that the action was for the interest of the country, stressing that government will access personal data for the right use.

Mucheru urged media to participate during ongoing draft bill making process saying the Data protection law is not aimed at preventing the press from accessing information.

“It’s time the media to actively participate in the bill not for them to raise complains after the bill is passed into the law” said the CS, noting that the bill is meant to protect misuse of personal data by criminals.

He observed that we usually leave our personal information especially our nation Identity card number even other data in many organization who might misuse the information and there the country needs a law to protect the misuse of the personal information.

The bill draft has been going on for the last seven months and is spearheaded by a 13 member task force with its members drawn from different sectors. It has also in cooperated experts from Europe to ensure it meets international standards.

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