Nape outlines what personal data system entails

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA has taken a significant step in protection of personal data with the launch of a comprehensive system aimed at registering data collectors, processors, and addressing violations of data protection principles The system, inaugurated by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, marks a pivotal moment in Tanzania’s commitment to online security and the safeguarding of individuals’ privacy.

The Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye, said the newly launched system encompasses various functions, including registration of data controller, processors, and protection officers, issuance of registration certificates, and the handling of complaints related to breaches of data protection principles.

Additionally, it facilitates payments through the government’s electronic gateway and enables the commission to disseminate quarterly reports on the state of personal data protection trends.

“The system also has notifications, permit, ratification and report modules, data subjects or complains module,” he said. As per information provided on the PDPC website, a data controller refers to an individual, organisation, or governmental entity that, either independently or in collaboration with others, determines the objectives and methods of processing personal data.

For instance, within a healthcare setting, a doctor who collects patient information for the purposes outlined in this notification system serves as an example of a data controller because they oversee both the intent and methods of data processing.

Similarly, in the context of businesses utilising digital platforms like social media or Google Workspace for internal communication and collaboration, the business entity itself assumes the role of data controller, while the digital platform functions as the data processor.

Data processor is a natural person, legal person or public body which processes personal data for and on behalf of the controller and under the data controller instruction, except for the persons who, under the direct authority of the controller, are authorised to process the data and it includes his representative.

Mr Nape said the use of the system, along with the principles of the newly established Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) work, will help the commission’s activities to be carried out scientifically, thereby reducing or eliminating complaints from stakeholders involved in the collection, processing, storage, and distribution of personal data.

Additionally, the technological advancement aims to streamline commission operations, reduce complaints, and enhance professionalism by digitising interactions between commission staff and stakeholders. President Samia officiated at the launching ceremony, highlighting the crucial role of the newly established PDPC in upholding the rights of citizens and fostering trust in digital services.

The system’s establishment follows the enactment of the Personal Data Protection Act in 2022, underscoring Tanzania’s dedication to aligning with global standards in data protection.

The minister highlighted the significance of Tanzania’s three foundational laws governing cybercrime, electronic transactions, and now personal data protection, in fortifying the nation’s digital infrastructure against threats.

Furthermore, the minister said the launch of the PDPC and the comprehensive system places Tanzania among the ranks of nations committed to upholding the rule of law, human dignity and privacy rights.

“This milestone not only enhances domestic and foreign investor confidence but also contributes to global efforts in creating a secure online environment,” Mr Nape said.

Mr Nape said the commission is a crucial instrument, in the development of the nation, especially at a time when the whole world is transitioning to a digital economy where data has become a vital commodity.

“It is essential to prioritise the privacy, dignity, and respect of individuals in building trust among users of digital services and our systems of communication,” he said PDPC in the country was officially established on May 1, 2023, following the enactment of the Personal Data Protection Act in 2022.

The Commission commenced the implementation of its duties as a result of the enforcement of the law and the formal initiation of its responsibilities.

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