Companies without data protection certificates risk losing license

Commissioner of Data Protection, Patricia Edusei-Poku has warned that companies which refuse to register with the Ghana Data Protection Commission risk losing their business licenses.

She told Adom News that the Commission has asked all licensed issuing organisations and regulators not to renew the license of any company that does not present a data protection certificate as part of their registration requirement.

“The same applies to any new businesses – they would need to first register with the Commission and obtain a Data Protection Certificate before they can be registered to operate in Ghana,” she said.

Patricia Edusei-Poku was speaking to Adom News at the press launch of the maiden Africa Data Protection and Privacy Conference (ADPPC) slated for June 26, 2019, in Accra. The conference will bring together cybersecurity and ICT industry stakeholders from across Africa and the world to brainstorm on how to develop effective data protection systems for African countries.

It would focus on how to establish and run ethical data collection, storage, retrieval, usage and even disposal systems, as well as capacity building for staff in the area of data protection across the entire spectrum of society – banking, health, education, aviation, hospitality and other sectors.

The Commissioner noted that in spite of the passage of the Data Protection Act and a directive by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for all public and private organizations to register with the Data Protection Commission, lots of organizations have turned a deaf ear on it.

She said the Commission is no more going to countenance the deliberate disregard for the law because that disturbing disregard allows organizations to mishandle the data of Ghanaians in their possession and thereby disrespect the actual owners of the data.

Patricia Adusei-Poku argued that state institutions and private companies make a profit from the data of individuals in their possession and yet those organizations disrespect the customers and sometimes even mishandle the data.

She said it is time for organisations that benefit from the citizens’ data to start respecting the citizens, adding that the conference will ensure that citizens of African countries get the same level of respect and compensation when their data is abused by organizations like those in developed countries get.

The Commissioner used the opportunity to call on Ghanaians to demand to know from organizations which collect their data, how they are protecting that data and proof of assurance of protection.

“If any organisation or leader is unable to show […]

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