General News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Former Lands and Natural Resources minister Inusah Abdulai B. Fuseini may have breached the Data Protection Law after confessing he planted an audiovisual recorder in his office while serving as minister.
Referring to the Data Protection Law passed in 2012, Executive Director of the Data Protection Commission Mrs. Teki Akuetteh Falconer said there is a breach of privacy and the law if one is recorded without his or her consent.
Quoting Section 19 of the law, Mrs Falconer pointed out two conditions under which a person may be put under surveillance.
The law which states “personal data may only be processed if the purpose for which it is to be processed, is necessary, relevant and not excessive” adding, the person to be monitored needs to grant consent.
She was contributing to the audiovisual controversy involving the former Lands Minister.
The legal implications of Inusah Fuseini’s office bugging have become the latest twist to revelations, the Lands and Natural minister John Peter Amewu may have been monitored.
The secret bug capable of picking whispers 35 feet away has been there for at least more than three years after it was first installed during Insuah Fuseini’s term in office.
The 55-year old has said the device was a security gift to him from a friend but has assured his two successors, the device was never functional. He has also apologised to the ministers.
The other possible victim of the surveillance, a former minister Nii Osah-Mills who took over from Insuah Fuseini in 2014 is not happy.
He said he now feels naked whilst in office as minister.
Discussing the legal angle to the spy saga, the Executive Director of the Data Protection Mrs. Teki Akuetteh Falconer said it is a criminal offence to breach a person’s privacy.
She said the law also provides the option for an aggrieved person to sue for the invasion of privacy or lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commission for investigations.
She explained that the purpose of the information is important in determining the breach of the law. Even where the purpose is determined, other questions to consider is if there are other less intrusive means to monitor a target.
The saga is reportedly under investigations by the Bureau of National Investigation.