Samia launches personal data protection commission

President Samia Suluhu Hassan touches the screen of an iPad to mark the launch of the Personal Data Protection Commission, as well as the Registration and Complaint Systems for violations of the principles of Personal Data Protection, at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Dar es Salaam on April 3, 2024. PHOTO | STATE HOUSE

What you need to know:

  • The president urges companies that collect and process personal information to ensure compliance with data protection laws. 

Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan inaugurated the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) on April 3, 2024, at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam. 

During her speech, the president urged companies that collect and process personal information to ensure compliance with data protection laws. 

She emphasized that the commission has been established in accordance with the constitution to protect the rights and interests of citizens nationally and fulfill the country's obligations regionally and internationally.

Samia stated that every human being has dignity and deserves privacy, hence the establishment of laws and a commission to safeguard people's privacy, because there are certain pieces of information that one would prefer not to be known by everyone. 

“If all our information were open and known to everyone, we wouldn't be able to look each other in the eye,” she said.

The commission is designed to keep pace with significant technological changes, where personal information can be collected and processed without the individual's knowledge. Such information can be misused for malicious purposes and can also be a commodity for various online companies. 

"In the past, there have been incidents worldwide involving the leakage of personal information. There are private companies seeking personal information of individuals against people's rights and using that information for their commercial interests. There are also examples of malicious acts where individuals have hacked systems and collected personal data,” she said.

The President also called upon the Prime Minister's Office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, Information and Communication Technology, to ensure that all ICT systems in the country are interconnected so that by December 31, 2024, a single identification number can be used for all identification purposes.