Dr Omane Boamah (second right) and Teki Akuetteh Falconer in a group photograph
Minister of Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah has called for the strict protection of private data of Ghanaians by data controllers.
Dr. Omane Boamah disclosed this while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day national Data Protection Conference in Accra on Thursday under the theme: ‘Creating The Right Balance Between The Need For Information and Data Protection.’
The conference is being organized by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) Ghana under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications.
Dr. Omane Boamah was of the view that every Ghanaian has the right to have his or her personal data protected under the 1992 Constitution.
He called for the creation of what he termed as an enabling legal environment for the protection of individuals’ data privacy, saying the Government of Ghana is committed to protecting one’s private data.”
The minister bemoaned the chaos caused by the leakage of individual data in recent times, making particular reference to some suicide cases that have resulted from the reported leakages.
The development, according to the sector minister, calls for serious action to ensure the total protection of personal data by entities and agencies controlling such data.
Dr. Omane Boamah used the opportunity to appeal to DPC to ensure that its independence was not compromised in the discharge of its duty.
Chairman of the Governing Board of DPC, Justice S.K. Date-Bah, in a statement, indicated that the objectives of the conference include the need to raise consciousness about data protection issues and to sensitize the general public and key stakeholders about statutory obligations that have been imposed in relation to the protection of data, among others.
The conference, he stated, would be used to discuss issues affecting data controllers and processors in Ghana in the light of the implementation of the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).
Justice S.K. Date-Bah expressed the belief that a “right balance” needed to be created between the need for information and data protection.
Executive Director of DPC, Ghana, Teki Akuetteh Falconer, who touched on the state data protection in the country, said that “only a handful of Ghanaians have any knowledge about data protection and the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).
Due to the lack of awareness among the populace about data protection, she intimated that DPC had planned to embark on a number of initiatives this year and subsequent ones.
“We will embark on training and certification programmes aimed at improving the capacity of data protection practitioners in the country,” adding that “the Commission will also undertake some media campaign targeting the data subjects.”
By Melvin Tarlue