Uganda’s data protection bill under parliamentary scrutiny

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Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda Minister of ICT and National guidance.

A bill to protect the privacy of individuals and personal data of Ugandans; has been presented before the parliamentary committee on Information Communication committee.

According to the Minister of ICT and National guidance Frank Tumwebaze,the bill’s main objective is to provide the rights of persons whose data is collected and obligations of data collectors, data processors and data controllers.

It’s against this background that teams from the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance and the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) on Wednesday interacted with the members of Parliament that constitute the Parliamentary ICT oversight committee.

Bill to provide much needed protection

NITA-U’s Acting Executive Director, Peter Kahiigi said the Bill will provide the much needed protection for personal identifiable information which is key in this digital age.

“As we move to digitize the Ugandan economy, this bill will provide important safeguards that will protect Ugandan citizens as they use online services,” said Kahiigi; adding that these safeguards will be enforceable by the law enforcement agencies in the country.

He further said; if approved by the ICT Committee, Data Protection and Privacy Bill will be presented on the floor of Parliament for the Second reading.

“It is at this point that the House will then proceed to receive the committee report and the debate is opened to other members to debate the merits and demerits”, he added.

When the house accepts and adopts the committee report then the Bill is considered read for the second time.

The Bill is examined in detail, considering one clause or sub clause at a time, agreed to, amended or rejected basing on the majority votes without altering the main principle of the Bill.

The process of passing the Bill Rule 23(1) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament provides for the required quorum of Parliament which is one third of all members of parliament entitled to vote.

The speaker will put a question that the Bill be read the third time. Parliament at the final stage, passes the Bill as an Act of Parliament, it is then sent to the President for assent where it becomes an Act of Uganda.

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