Claim on data privacy in Tanzania.

The clamour for a data protection law in Tanzania is increasingly gaining momentum in this digital age, as advocates call for urgent action to protect people’s privacy on the internet and data-related market products.

This comes after the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology said yesterday that it was in the final stages of preparing the long-awaited legislative Bill.

The ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, Mr Jim Yonazi, said the new law would require anyone who collects personal data to protect them in accordance with the law. However, speaking to The Citizen yesterday, the campaigners for the law said people were increasingly using the internet where there is a risk of breach of privacy, yet the process to enact the law has kept dragging on.

Jamii Forums founder Maxence Mello, who has been advocating the formulation of the data protection law, and a victim of data-related lawsuits suggested that the law should come hand in hand with a proper regulatory mechanism on use of internet personal data.

“We need proper mechanisms for collecting personal data and ensuring our data is safe. We also advocate for the formation of an independent body that will supervise this,” said Mr Mello, adding that he was in Dodoma trying to educate lawmakers and political parties on what the data protection law should contain.

In 2016, Mr Mello filed a case to demand legal protection of privacy.


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