Rights of Individuals

Your personal information or data is important and you have a key role to play in protecting such information.

The Data Protection Act,2008 (Act 843) guarantees your right to  privacy by giving you  the power to access and control how your personal information  is processed, collected, used and disclosed.

Section 18 (1) states: A person who processes personal data shall ensure that the personal data is processed
            (a) without infringing the privacy rights of the data subject;
            (b) in a lawful manner; and
            (c) in a reasonable manner.

Here are some of the rights guaranteed under the Act.

1. Access to personal information
Once you provide a proof of identity, you may request for a copy of all your personal details by writing to any organisation or person holding these details on a computer or in manual form. You have a right to also know  how the information is being processed, by whom and who has access it.

2. Right to amend your personal information
You have the right to request amendment (correction and deletion) of inaccurate, irrelevant, excessive, out of date, incomplete, misleading or unlawfully obtained personal data or information that is under the control of a data controller/ processor. And on the receipt of the request, the data controller must comply or provide you with valid reasons why he can’t comply.

3. Right to prevent processing of your personal information.
You can at any time by notice ask the data controller or processor to cease processing of your personal information.

4. Rights to freedom from automated decision making
An individual is entitled at any time by notice in writing to a data controller to require the data controller to ensure that; any decision taken on his behalf by the data controller which significantly affects that individual is not based solely on an automated process.
Generally, important decisions about you based on your personal details should have a human input and must not be automatically generated, unless you agree to this. For example, such decisions may be about your work performance, reliability, mental health condition, etc

5. Right to prevent processing of personal data for direct marketing purpose
A data controller or processor shall not provide, use, obtain, or provide information related to a data subject for the purpose of direct marketing without the prior written consent of the data subject.
Individuals are entitled at any time by notice in writing to a data controller to require the data controller not to process personal data of that subject for the purposes of direct marketing and to obtain compensation where such process caused any damage to them.

6. Right to seek compensation through the courts
Individuals who suffer damage and distress through the contravention by a data controller or processor are entitled to compensation from the data controller or processor and can seek such compensation through the Courts.

7. Right to complain to the Data Protection Commission
Where you are having difficulty in exercising your rights or if you feel that any person or organization is not complying with their responsibilities, you may complain to the Data Protection Commission that can investigate the issue and ensure that your rights are upheld.

Practical Measures to Protecting your Personal Information

List of security measures individuals could personally take to protect the privacy of their data both automatic and manual [+] read more