Data Security Concerns Dominate Second Day of Digital Summit in Kenya

The second Digital Summit in Kenya entered day two on Thursday, with data security issues and inadequate digital platforms emerging as major challenges in digital transformation.

Data Protection Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait raised concern about the misuse of data and its integrity in Kenya, calling on private and government institutions to adhere to data protection laws.

Ms Kassait said institutions need to come up with data collection assessments before embarking on any type of data collection process.

“As the data protection office, we are concerned about the kind of information collected by institutions, including establishments such as supermarkets,” she said.

“Some personal information being sought is too personal and there is a need to intervene to ensure (that as little personal data as possible is collected).”

Speaking during the conference in Mombasa attended by different digital stakeholders across the continent, Ms Kassait said institutions should ensure data is only used for its intended purpose.

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“It is a crime to collect data and use it for unintended purposes. Any individual has a right to seek protection of his or her data by even asking any organization, more so marketing firms, how they got the data,” Ms Kassait said.

ICT Chief Administrative Secretary, Maureen Mbaka said the government has set up different platforms to ensure there’s adequate skilled work to move digital transformation forward.

Ms Mbaka said data shows more than 90 percent of jobs globally have a digital component and hence the need to equip everyone with the right digital skills.

The founder of the Israel Innovation Institute, Leo Bakman urged organisations to adopt technology to address global challenges.

Mr Bakman said despite technology development, many organisations continue to lag behind, with insufficient digital implementation plans.

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The conference kicked off on Wednesday evening, bringing together experts from Kenya and across Africa.

The conference has assembled varied stakeholders and respected authorities in the digital world to present and discuss ideas, innovations, discoveries, and perspectives relating to the prevailing and emerging needs of the increasingly digitised world.

The summit will be about exchanging ideas, inspiring and helping organisations to apply the most appropriate tech and digital strategies in line with the trends and demands of the world.

One of the key presenters,Dr Wale Akinyemi said fear of technology change has kept many organisations back.

“Many African organisations do not have youth in senior positions which are critical in decision-making (and) those who decide on behalf of organisations have fear of digitalisation thus holding organisations at a standstill,” he said.

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He said innovation is triggered by problems and Africa has enough to innovate to get solutions.

“Most African organisations are owned by foreigners and if continental leaders do not look out, we might end up in a digital colonisation whose chain we cannot break,” he said.

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