Data Protection Africa: A tool for information, advocacy and activism in Africa

Phase 1 of Data Protection Africa (DPA) has launched! DPA is an online open-access portal that provides information on data protection laws and access to data protection authorities in 31 African countries. The portal also lists digital rights organisations which work in the data protection space in Africa. Phase 2 is coming soon.

A full review of data protection laws in 31 African countries

Africa is undergoing a digital transformation, and while this presents exciting and innovative opportunities, there is a corresponding and pressing need for appropriate data protection on the continent. Unfortunately, data protection is largely unregulated in Africa, putting vulnerable populations at a risk. In response to the need to better understand the data protection landscape in Africa, ALT Advisory has created DPA, a resource for individuals, activists and communities to access information and knowledge which will enable them to exercise their rights and to advocate to progressively realise and develop privacy rights. DPA seeks to become a platform for activism in the face of digital threats.

The DPA portal presently provides a full review of data protection laws in 31 African countries, each with a factsheet on the applicable laws, as well as relevant constitutional provisions. The factsheets provide information on:

  • What constitutes personal information in a particular jurisdiction
  • How that information should be collected and processed
  • How that data can be transferred across borders
  • What breach notifications apply in a jurisdiction if data is leaked to an unauthorised third party.
  • What steps can be taken to remedy such breaches, including the contact information of operational data protection authorities.

Also available through the portal is a list of digital rights organisations which work in the data protection space in Africa.

 

Phase 2 of DPA, which is presently in development, will see the review of all country factsheets, the introduction of a new factsheet on the Togolese Republic, a running record of data protection jurisprudence in Africa, and an overview of sub-regional data protection trends. Phase 2 will also incorporate contact functionality which will allow DPA users to file complaints with data protection authorities from the portal.

You can access the site here.

This piece was written by Tshepiso Hadebe, of ALT Advisory. DPA is a special project that has been developed by ALT Advisory with the support of a grant from the Strategic Advocacy Fund, as part of the project “Securing human rights online in Africa through a strong and active ‘African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms’ network”.