With digital transformation taking centre stage in every industry in Africa, the definition of a lot of things has changed. Take privacy for instance, it was quite easy to ensure that what’s private to you remains private to you but during the age of digital transformation, the definition of what’s private to you has changed.
In digital transformation, when talking about privacy we are mostly referring to your data and information. We share our data with a lot of companies and individuals that we can no longer know for sure that we really own the data. SACCOs are among institutions that collect a lot of individuals’ data, but it is not quite clear what they do with your private data.
Speaking at the Africa SACCOTech Forum, Oscar Onyango, the deputy data commissioner at the Office of The Data Protection Commissioner(ODPC), advised on why the Data Protections matters to SACCOs.
“Data privacy is a right of an individual and every citizen has a right to protect their private information. SACCO members normally have to give out a lot of their personal information for one reason or another and it is important that they have the transparency on how their private information will be used,” Onyango remarked.
The root purpose for SACCOs is savings and credit, and this are the services that members come into SACCOs to seek. However, some SACCOs go an extra mile and even give investment options to their members or do the investment on behalf of the member.
In this case, Oscar suggests that the SACCO needs to inform the member on how they plan to invest their money and whether or not their data will be shared with other parties.
In that same line, Oscar also talked about when members give out their friends and family’s data as guarantors in a loan. It is the responsibility of the SACCO to ensure that the data is only used for its intended purpose.
“SACCOs can be considered as both a data controller and data processor, whereby a controller collects and determines how your data will be used while a processor carries out the processing of data,” Oscar further said in his presentation.
In general, Oscar urged SACCOs to always make sure that they adhere to the Data Protection Act in everything they undertake in.