The Commissioner of the Data Protection Commission (DPC), Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku has said that institutions are legally obligated to ensure that they are compliant with the data protection laws in Ghana and urged them to
register with the Commission to work on their compliance program to avoid prosecution.
She made these remarks at the climax of the 2023 Data Protection and Privacy week celebrations in Accra.
Madam Adusei-Poku said that when she took office in 2017, about 10 countries in Africa had enacted Data Protection laws however, as of 2023 this number had risen to 30.
"If you are a business that wants to excel or if you are in the public sector there is an expectation of you to know what the law requires of you under data protection", she noted.
The Commission has since its inception championed the protection of information that was collected and used by companies and institutions in Ghana with the law stating sanctions for companies that floutedthe regulations of the Commission.
The DPC also disclosed that it would soon arraign about 300 institutions that had failed to safeguard the data of individuals as stipulated by law.
“We will be enforcing the law by publishing the names of non-compliant institutions and we have gone to the Chief Justice to get a Fastrack Court so that there will not bedelays in pushing data breach cases through the court and the Chief Justice asked for justification which has been done and now the Attorney General has given us a dedicated prosecutorwho is working with the Commission to compile the cases,” the Commissioner added.Madam Ama Pomaa Boateng, the Deputy Communications Minister who represented the honourable Minister of Communication, Madam Ursula Owusu said that Government, since 2017, had been implementing its digital agenda to ensurethat Ghana fully participated in the 4th industrial revolution and that its citizens benefitted from the opportunities that it presented.
She noted that Ghana's digitalization initiatives generated huge data that needed to be protected hence the Government's decision to empower the Commission to be at the heart of its transformational agenda.
"We would like to maximize the use of data by unlocking its potential, promote data sharing, analytics, and reuse for the general public good" Madam Boateng stated.
She said that the Commission had complimented Government's efforts by systematically increasing national awareness on protecting personal data through the development of appropriate organizational structures and
procedures for data controllers to follow backed by the Data Protection Law Act 843, which she disclosed would soon be reviewed.
The event was attended by high level executives of various institutions, the media, peer regulators such as the Cyber Security Authority, the National Information Technology Agency, the Association of Ghana Industries,
the State Interests and Governance Authority, and the Ghana Statistical Services.