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LETTERS: Africa needs own data protection regulations

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LETTERS: Africa needs own data protection regulations

 data protection
Kenya’s data protection is elusive regardless of the DPA. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Africa is known for various impressive, annoying, hurting, and disappointing factual events. The Data Protection Act No. 24 of 2019 (DPA), is one of the fabricated tales. There are startling writings that indicate the African continent has been – probably still is – a testing ground on various issues, including biochemical experiments.

These practices enable the experimenters to collect raw data to enable them to understand whether the version of whatever tested is worth it or needs further improvement.

Kenya had the opportunity to take notes while observing the western countries grapple with issues on data protection, but that did not happen. Kenya, like most African countries, borrows a lot from Western countries when it comes to making a step to legislate on “new” areas of law.

However, even when having the opportunity to implement useful Research and Development (R&D) practices and procedures, it terribly fails and merely adopts the Copy and Paste Principle, which is quite fast. However, it lacks a sense of direction because there is no R&D.

While the writing of the DPA has the taste of the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act, 2018 & 1998, there are other elements from other legislations. On April 27, 2016, when the European Union (EU) was approving the famous General Data Protection Rules 2016/679/EU (GDPR), it shared a firm conclusion about the Directive through its Official Journal of European Union.

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It stated that the Directive 95/46/EC (the Directive) “objectives and principles of the Directive remain sound, but it has not prevented fragmentation in the implementation of data protection across the Union, legal uncertainty or a widespread public perception that there are significant risks to the protection of natural persons, in particular with regard to online activity.”

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The EU concluded that there was a need to advance the issue on Data Protection. As a result, the Directive had to be repealed in favour of the GDPR.

The European Commission Decision 2000/520/EC that was birthed as a result of the Directive, both repealed, in letter and spirit, influenced critical provisions under the DPA. Therefore, like the Commission Decision 2000/520/EC, the DPA provides that Data Controllers and Data Processors can self-regulate.

The idea of self-regulating provided a loophole for the Data Controllers, and Data Processors in the US have their Government engage the EU on diplomatic terms, which the US did through its Department of Commerce (DoC).

The results of these diplomatic discussions resulted in effecting Commission Decision 2000/520/EC popularly known as the Safe Harbour Regulations.

The Safe Harbour Regulations operated for at least a decade before questions were raised about its legality and whether it is superior or inferior to the Directive.

The legislators in Kenya had the opportunity to conduct R&D and perform the necessary comparative analysis on why the EU, post Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner C-362/14 decision, had to invalidate the application of the Safe Harbour Regulations.

Also, what is new in the GDPR that must be adopted by Kenya to protect the data subjects in Kenya. It means that later on after the citizenry realise the DPA provides elusive Data Protection, the future legislators will repeat the words indicated under the Official Journal of European Union.

The legislators will state that while the objectives and principles of the DPA, 2019 remain to be sound, the DPA has failed to protect the data subjects to the extent that the then legislators envisioned.

It is with the lack of or poor R&D practices that Kenya failed to take the observers position like researchers conducting experimental tests on a guinea pig.

Thereafter, it should have come up with a near-perfect instrument that protects the interests of Kenyans and not blind the citizenry to protect the entities accessing the personal data. While the DPA has some elements as those of the Directive, Data Protection Act, 2018 & 1998, and the GDPR, the DPA fails to factor critical issues such as avoiding to provide companies with the Self-Regulating option.

That option is not available under the indicated laws or regulations – whether repealed or not – save for Commission Decision 2000/520/EC that was rendered invalid by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Therefore, it is evident that Kenya’s data protection is elusive regardless of the DPA.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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