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27.04.2019 Feature Article

Data Protection……… Necessary???

Data Protection

What would be your reaction if you realized the wrapper used for the 'kelewele' you bought at your neighborhood bears your laboratory test results??

What will you do if you receive five unsolicited messages from companies to patronize their services in a day??

Still thinking?? Well, you must have had an answer to the caption already.

In an era and age such as ours, where social media, digitalization and internet usage is at the apex, it is important that individuals, corporate organizations and other stakeholders pay particular attention to personal data and its usage. Personal data is any information about us that uniquely identifies us from others. These distinctive features may include full names, date of birth, addresses, fingerprints, photographs, phone numbers, among others.

Personal Data impacts every decision, resolutions, and judgments we make day in and day out. Our personal information affects our statuses, eminences, and positions as individuals. A reason we must be extra concerned about how they are used to avoid accidental loss, or it being mishandled.

In our current dispensation, personal data has become very valuable. The situation becomes more and more terrifying taking into consideration the various means one can use personal information wrongfully or otherwise. And so every living individual or data subject must be vigilant to avoid the unlawful and the insensitive processing of personal data.

For individuals to make sure that their personal data is secured, they must ensure that institutions they transact businesses with are duly registered and are complying with the rules and regulations of Data Protection in their jurisdiction.

In Ghana, there is the existence of a bona fide Data Protection Commission which is mandated by law to protect the privacy of individuals and personal data. The DPC in Ghana regulates these institutions and make sure they are keeping to the best standards and good practices of Data Protection. They also in effect address issues that have to do with data breaches and make sure rights of data subjects are strictly observed by data controllers.

Aside from the Data Protection Act 843 which became effective in 2012 in Ghana, there is the General Data Protection Regulations(GDPR) and other Data Protection Conversions which bind all data controllers to be compliant and to be transparent especially to their data subjects.

A data subject may have the right to be informed, the right to give and withdraw consent, the right to access information, the right to object, amend and rectification, among others. Individuals are to ensure that organizations they come across do not trample on their rights as data subjects.

It is about time Data subjects ask the right questions and get to know the specific purpose for which their personal data is being collected and how it would be processed.

Before you share your personal information, PAUSE!! THINK!! and SHARE!!!

Remember having your privacy is your fundamental Human Rights and should be treated as such.

Note that your data is your privacy and your privacy is your data and thus, Data protection is very necessary. Be vigilant!!!



Raynolds Darkwah
Raynolds Darkwah, © 2019

This author has authored 1 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: RaynoldsDarkwah

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