The Data Protection Commission (DPC), an agency under the Ministry of Communication and Digitalization has marked the 2023 Data Protection and Privacy Day under the theme 'Data Governance for a safe Digitized space'.
The annual event focused on educational initiatives such as raising awareness among businesses as well as users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking in this new era.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Data Protection Week which took place in Kumasi, the Executive Director of the Commission, Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku 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 they collected and how they stored it.
She continued to emphasize 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 noted, 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.
The educational focus had expanded over the years to include families, consumers, and businesses.
In addition to its educational initiative, Data Privacy Day promotes events and activities that stimulate the development of technology tools that promote individual control over personally identifiable information; encourage compliance with privacy laws and regulations;
and creates a dialogue among stakeholders interested in advancing data protection and privacy. The international celebration offers many opportunities for collaboration among governments, industry, academia, non-profits, privacy professionals, and educators.
"It has become necessary to control access to data to protect the rights of individuals who are unable to challenge large institutions and processors," the Commissioner said.
In Ghana, the DPC has over the years commemorated the day with week-long national awareness activities such as free awareness training, free webinars, roadshows, and public education activities for all.
Madam Adusei-Poku also added that the DPC issued specific requirements for data processors and the day allowed them to educate individuals about their rights under the law for them to hold institutions accountable.
This year's celebration also highlighted the commissions intent to extend its reach from the confines of Accra to other regions in Ghana. To this end, the opening ceremony began in Kumasi at the Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology (KNUST). The event pulled members of the business community, academia and the security sector to interact on the implications of Data Protection in their daily business activities. Peer regulators such as the National Communication Authority (NCA) and the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) also graced the occasion.