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Researcher calls for cohesive policies on collection of data in Africa

 A Research Fellow, Dr Robert Muthuri of Strathmore University, Nariobi , Kenya has called on governments in Africa to put in place cohesive policies on data collection from their citizens.

Muthuri is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Internet Protocol (IP) and Information Technology Law of Strathmore University, Nairobi.
He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja on the sidelines of the just concluded Internet Freedom Forum.
He said government and civil societies needed to work together to ensure that the continent had proper principles and legislation that would ensure that citizens’ data were protected.
“We need to work on cohesive policies on how data is being collected, how data is being processed and stored,’’ he said.
According to him, only data that is necessary for the information required should be collected, data should not be unnecessary requested from the citizens.
“There is the need for proper policies and transparency on how data is stored, data is being stored in data base that we are not sure it is secured, ‘’ he said.
He emphasised on the need for government and citizens to work together because the citizens owned their data and government was just a custodian of that data.
According to Muthuri, there are basically three principles that should be observed in data collection, which are transparency, security, and trust
“ In case of transparency, we need to be able to understand how data is working, what 
data policies can we formulate to ensure that there is security.’’
According to him, security and trust go hand in hand; there cannot be trust without security.
“So, we need to make sure that we have enough cyber security laws that balance both national interest and digital protection for the citizens.’’(NAN)