The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner has said all names of the people who were registered to parties without their consent are to be deregistered by political parties.
This comes days after Amnesty International Kenya called on the ODPC to commence investigations into the irregular party registration.
In a statement, Data Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait said her office has since held a meeting with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties to establish the status and resolve that the names of the complainants are to be deregistered by political parties.
“My Office will continue to engage with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Political Parties and other Data Controllers and Processors to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act, 2019,” reads the statement.
Kassait said as of June 24, 2021 it had received over 200 complaints from aggrieved individuals who had been registered to various political parties without their consent.
She said that her office will embark on awareness creation and development of sector specified guidelines in consultation with Data Controllers and Data Processors.
She called for patience from those affected and assured the public that the office is taking steps to ensure that the rights of data subject persuant to the Act are respected and protected.
Amnesty International Executive Director Irungu Houghton urged ODPC to conduct an assessment with a view to ascertain whether ORPP and political parties processed personal data in compliance with the Data Protection Act, 2019.
“Political parties and all data controllers are obligated by the Data Protection Act to collect personal data directly from data subjects. Further, unequivocal, free, specific, and informed consent must always be obtained prior to any processing of personal data. Political parties should therefore take necessary steps to ensure compliance with data protection laws,” he said.
He raised concerns with emerging reports that persons have been involuntarily registered for political party membership.
According to him, this denies Kenyans the right to make free political choices which includes the right to join a political party of their choice.
Further, he added that these developments are a gross violation of the right to privacy and present significant infractions of the Data Protection Act, 2019.
“The principles and obligations of personal data protection require data controllers and processors to ensure that personal data is accurate and kept up to date, with reasonable steps being taken to ensure that inaccurate personal data is erased or rectified without delay,” he added.
He reminded the public that they have the right to be informed of the use to which their personal data has been put.