The office of the Data Protection Commissioner has weighed in on the registration of Kenyans to Political parties without consent. The Data commissioner, Immaculate Kassait issued a statement saying it was the prerogative of the political parties to de-register the names of the complainants.
Kassait said the office had received more than 200 complaints from users whose data had been used to register them to various political parties without their consent.
“The office has since held a meeting with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties to establish the status and resolved that the names of the complainants are to be deregistered by the political parties.”
The Office of the Data Commissioner was commissioned in November 2020 after Kassait was sworn in as the first Data Commissioner. The office is tasked with the handling and protection of data. This marks one of the first cases the office has been directly tasked with for the protection of public data.
Last week, there was online uproar after a number of Kenyans found their data registered to various political parties without their knowledge. When the complaints were directed to the office of the Registrar of political parties, they provided a detailed process of deregistration.
This included writing a letter to the political party who were to approve the deregistration, after which the letter would be presented to the registrar. Many Kenyans were irked by the tedious process for an anomaly they had not opted into, in the first place.
In the statement, Kassait said the office would embark on creating awareness and the development of data specific guidelines in consultation with data controllers and data handlers.
“The office calls for patience from those aggrieved and assured the public that the office is taking steps that the rights of data subjects pursuant to the act are respected and protected,” the statement read.