The Executive Director of Data Protection Commission ( DPC), Patricia Adusei-Poku, has underscored the need for the Commission to ensure that registered companies comply with the Data Protection Act 2012 (Act 843), which sought to protect personal data.
She disclosed that the commission has already received a dedicated prosecutor to prosecute defaulting companies. She indicated, “We have also requested for a fast-track court to facilitate the prosecution of defaulters.”
Madam Adusei-Poku, was speaking at the 1st CEO’s Breakfast Meeting by the Commission on Tuesday 31st January, 2023, to climax this year’s weeklong Data protection celebration, at Lancaster Hotel Accra, formerly Golden Tulip Hotel.
She entreated business owners to join in the activities to better understand the Data Protection Act and its implications on their daily business activities.
Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku, however charged other unregistered companies to register with the commission to avoid being put on the active list of non-compliant institutions awaiting prosecution.
“We are educating the public to access the Data Protection Commission and also to know how to protect data. Therefore, it is the duty of business owners and chief executive officers to train their Staff in the area of data management for the betterment of the establishment since the world is going digital.” She reemphasized.
She posited that the commission had put together a three to five-year strategy document to give Ghana a real time framework for data governance under the Data Protection Act 2012 (Act 843) to fit Ghana’s agenda of building a safe digitised space.
She gave insight into the agenda of the Commission for 2023 which included scrutinizing the work of Data Controllers and being stringent on what the Data Protection law required of them concerning safeguarding the data collected and how to stored it.
She further emphasized the fact that privacy was a fundamental human right and therefore individuals had the backing of the Data Protection law to exercise their rights to be informed about how their data was being used.
These laws, she stressed, had become crucial due to the advancement in technology resulting in easy access to people’s data and information which sometimes caused harm and distress to them.
According to her it’s about time that Ghana as a country manage the data such that there’s a kind of one stop shop approach to data management, that there’s a more efficient and effective service of our needs because the quality of data in Ghana is not high as it should.
“We are pushing for a standardisation of our practices and policies so that it is easy for systems to align and collaborate with each other to maximize their potential for all of us for better decision making,” She noted.
The Executive director of the data protection commission stated categorically that using the data governance strategy will help institutions to become more accountable and responsible in many ways to customers.
Deputy Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ms. Ama Pomaa Boateng, on her part indicated that Government intend to empower the data protection commission to be at the heart of the national transformation agenda with adoption of advanced technology in the management of data.
She called on Ghanaians to remain focused in creating the needed awareness on the importance of securing our data that we voluntarily give or inadvertently approved for use since the entire world is going digital and data has become the currency that will drive economies.
According to Deputy Minister, data protection Commission has complemented efforts of government by systematically increasing national awareness of protecting the personnel data through the development of appropriate organisational structures and procedures for data controllers to follow backed by the data protection law Act 843.
The opening of the Data Protection week celebration was held in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on 23rd January, 2023, as Part of the Commission’s plan to expand Administrative reach to other parts of the country.
The celebration aims to educate the general public, institution and various actors in the digital space on Governance in securing the privacy and personal data of individuals.