The Data Protection Commission (DPC) says it is compiling a list of data handling firms that have failed to comply with laid down rules and legislations regarding the use of both public and private data to face prosecution.
“All these institutions that are defaulting on how they treat our data as they should compliantly and legitimately, we are compiling a list of them; the Attorney General has agreed to set up a Fast Track Court that will prosecute and enforce the law on them,” Executive Director of the commission, Mrs. Patricia Adusei-Poku, said at a media briefing as part of activities marking this year’s Global Data Protection Week.
“We’ve already engaged with the Chief Justice who is in support of this arrangement so long as we can provide a sizable list of cases to justify the establishment of that court,” she added.
Also, to get data handling businesses in check, the Commission says it is currently working with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to secure a list of registered businesses in the data control and management space to get them registered with the commission in line with its mandate.
The DPC boss stressed that these efforts are to ensure that businesses that collect and handle bulk data routinely to do their business will have no other choice than to adhere strictly to the laid down rules and regulations regarding the storage, use and protection of peoples’ data.
According to the DPC boss, there is the need for practical actions on improving data protection especially with the current wave of digitalization across every facet of the economy.
“As we digitize the economy with most transactions moving online, increasing usage of open data and access to information become softer, the Commission is ready to protect the public interest by ensuring that bulk data is used properly, legitimately, more privately and in a safe manner,”
The Commission has further asked state regulatory bodies to demand data protection license from private sector businesses, especially users of bulk data, before they could be able to take on contracts for goods and services
Mrs. Adusei-Poku said about 50 sister agencies have agreed to demand the data license before renewing the permits of businesses whose operations involve the use of bulk data, and even for sourcing contracts for public goods and services.
The DPC boss indicated that there is increasing demand for data protection as a due diligence requirement so most institutions—both local and international—are demanding data protection licenses as part of due diligence process for awarding contracts.
“The Public Procurement Authority is working with us on this to inspect the data protection license of private businesses that will be seeking for contracts. In all public sector agencies now, internal auditors are demanding this license from key decision-maker,” she said.