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Rights body exited over the data protection bill

The Unwanted Witness a human rights body which advocates for the promotion and protection of digital rights and online freedoms has welcomed the recent government’s decision to enact a law on Data Protection and Privacy Bill 2013 with reservations.

The Human Rights group says that as government embarks on the law drafting process it should order telecom companies to surrender all citizens’ information collected during the Mandatory SIM Card Registration Exercise.

This comes shortly after the group recommended in report on the status of Internet freedom in Uganda, for the establishment of a National Data Collection Center.

The Unwanted Witness Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebagala commended the government of Uganda for issuing a directive to the first parliamentary counsel through the Ministry of ICT to commence drafting of a Data Protection and Privacy Bill.

He however said that the law should withdraw all citizens’ information from private hands especially telecom companies and establish a National Data Collection Center to safeguard it.

Ssebagala said that the findings indicate that personal information has been misused by government agencies and private companies which violate the right to privacy.

He says as government embarks on the process, it should put in place urgent measures that will facilitate wider consultations on the Bill

The unwanted witness further recommended that the government should respect the commitments made under the passing of the UN resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age especially scaling down on mass surveillance

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