Written by Grace Tsotsoo Quaye, edited by Arakunrin Lekan
It is very fundamental to ensure that information that is meant to be private to individuals is protected from third parties.
Information on people especially those concerning their private lives should not be disclosed to the public. The Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) sets out plainly the rules and principles governing the collection, use, disclosure and care for one’s personal data or information by a data controller or processor.
The Act also established the Data Protection Commission as an independent statutory body to ensure and enforce compliance. In Ghana, Data Protection is enshrined in Article 18(2) in the 1992 Constitution to ensure that no person’s privacy is violated.
However, our following of these guidelines remain questionable, because anytime the idea of Data Protection comes to mind, I tend to remember the information VAT payers have provided to Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) before the introduction of the digital system.
Have you ever asked yourself how some service providers send you text messages without you providing them with your contact?
National Lottery Authority sometimes sends messages to WhatsApp groups and individuals and you ask yourself how they got the contacts?
The national service personnels for instance receive messages from Direct Service Loan Company that they dial 3961# to apply for loan from their company and you ask yourself how did Direct Company got the contacts of the National Service Personnel? It is time that we have to stand against such activities.
Clients often disclose personal information to service providers, who are tasked with ensuring that their information are not shared with anybody else. Each individual’s data according to stipulated laws should be protected from third parties, financial or business partners.
The National Service Scheme should also ensure that they do not disclose the details of personnels to third parties and that in a way will protect the privacy of the service personnels.
There are benefits to data protection, which include the protection of privacy in the digital age, the security of valuable data, protection against hackers, and the prevention of website downtime, among others. Data Protection can make it difficult for hackers to access sensitive information normally stored by businesses such as names, addresses, phone numbers, email accounts, bank details, health information and many more.
Agencies, both public and private, as well as individuals, must ensure that people’s privacy is respected, as this would entail acknowledging a portion of our fundamental human rights and freedoms.
Written by Grace Tsotsoo Quaye. She is a Teaching Assistant at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.