New data protection guidelines for Africa launched

The Internet Society and the African Union Commission launched new personal data protection guidelines for Africa at the Africa Internet Summit held in Dakar, Senegal this week.

The new set of guidelines highlight how privacy protection and the responsible use of personal data are critical factors in building greater trust online and in advancing the digital economy in Africa.

The Personal Data Protection Guidelines for Africa were jointly developed by the Internet Society – a global non-profit organisation that promotes the open development, evolution and use of the internet – and the African Union Commission to facilitate the implementation of the AU’s Convention on cybersecurity and data protection (known as the Malabo Convention), adopted in 2014.

Key recommendations

The guidelines recommend a range of actions for governments, policymakers, citizens and other stakeholders to take at the regional, national, organisational and individual level. Among the key recommendations for governments is that they should respect and protect individuals’ rights to privacy online and offline.