Journalists told to challenge institutions to show data protection compliance

Media practitioners have been urged to task institutions that process data to come out with ways to manage data collected on the public.

They were encouraged to enquire from institutions how data were collected, how personnel were trained to handle data, how to ensure the integrity of personnel before they were entrusted with the data and how to use appropriate technology to store information.

Madam Patricia Adusei Poku, the Executive Director of the Data Protection Commission (DPC), made the call in Accra at a media engagement organized by the Commission on Wednesday.

“Ask solid questions that challenges the status quo,” Madam Poku emphasised.

She said it was necessary for the media to use their platforms to educate all data controller entities to register with the Commission to ensure that data protection was put in the right manner.

The Executive Director said it will be criminal on the part of any entity that will not register because that entity would be processing data illegitimately.

National Security, Crime and Tax agencies, health and social work bodies were among the entities that were exempted from being registered with the Commission, she said.

With regard to disposing of data, Madam Poku said it was important to discard information or data collected once it had exhausted its usage or relevance to avoid being accessed by wrong people.

She cautioned the media against being accomplices to institutions by publishing disclaimers that spelt out the names and pictures of individuals who had breached rules in the institutions without adding the part of the financial institutions’ Act that mandated them to do that.

“Do not publish the name and face of individuals who are heads of institutions instead of the institutions they work for, if the matter is between a financial institution and the institution,” she noted.

Madam Poku advised institutions to apply technology to the highest standard to protect data, especially, with the telecommunication companies to check fraud.

The National Identification Authority was also urged to prevent data collected from being falsified or wrongfully accessed by fraudsters.

Source: GNA

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