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Govt should enforce data protection laws – Experts



Experts on cybersecurity have called on the government to enforce the existing data protection laws, in order to protect Ugandans from the ever-increasing cybersecurity threat.

Addressing the African Women in Technology (AWIT) conference at Kampala International University on Saturday, Alice Namuli and Doreen Nawali, tech lawyers, urged the government to bring the hammer down on cyber terrorists.

Namuli, a former Vice-president of the Uganda Law Society in her presentation said the government should establish a regulatory authority to enforce the existing laws meant to protect internet users.

“Uganda needs a regulatory authority to enforce the laws. These laws were passed in February 2019, but up to now, we are not enforcing them.”, Namuli said.

Some of the laws passed are the information act, computer use act, electronic transaction act, electronic transfer act, and data protection act.

She also said that internet users have a right to know what the data telecom service providers take from them is used for.

She gave an example of online buying, where you buy a particular product online and the next time you open a web page, adverts about other products pop up on your screen. This means that someone collected your data and used it to market other products. Therefore, you need to know what your data is going to be used when it is collected from you.

“It is our right to be protected by the government from such people because these laws are there and they should be enforced.”, Namuli pointed out.

Doreen Nawali, on the other hand, noted that there is need for African Union countries to embrace an encompassing legal framework like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to protect member countries.

Previously, the South African and Kenyan governments have come under attack from hackers, who hacked into government files and demanded huge amounts of money.