The Data Protection Commission (DPC) is set to begin the prosecution of companies, institutions and organisations classified as Data Controllers that have refused to register with the Commission or renew their data protection licences.
Executive Director of the Commission, Patricia Adusei-Poku, made this announcement on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at a press conference as part of the Data Protection Commission week.
“We are working with the Attorney-General, and he has already agreed to give us a prosecutor. We want to create a fast-track court…create and compile the list of all the defaulting institutions and then fast-track all their cases to court to enforce the law,” she stated.
She said the Commission has also had engagements with the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, who expressed his support for the move so long as enough evidence can be provided to justify setting up the fast-track court for that purpose.
“We are working hard to compile that list to share with the Attorney General to prosecute all of those institutions which are continuously boycotting and going under the radar as far as our work is concerned,” Ms. Adusei-Poku added.
In the meantime, she said, the Commission has suspended the licences of about 10 Data Controllers for breaching data privacy.
Global Data Protection Week
As a member of the Global Assembly Privacy (GPA), the Ghana Data Protection Commission began commemoration of the Week with nationwide awareness activities to sensitise the general public about Data Protection and Privacy on the theme ‘Transparency, Trust and Transformation in a Digitised Ghana’.
The DPC, Ms. Adusei-Poku said, will continue to engage the public-private sector through forums, workshops, webinars and free drop-in sessions among others, to create more awareness on the importance of ensuring data privacy in businesses to meet the reasonable expectations of the general public.
Scaling-up and accreditation
Touching on the Commission’s desire to scale-up its operations this year, Ms. Adusei-Poku said deliberate efforts are being made to increase the number of professionally trained privacy practitioners in the country.
The DPC, she further noted, intends to accredit additional training institutions to assist with the training of professionals.
“Our accreditation process is to ensure that the quality and standard of training is maintained nationwide. This will enable a consistent and standardised approach to the implementation of privacy programmes by institutions which have understood the Commission’s mandate and expectations. They will use the official manual and deliver the same course as is being offered now,” she stated.
About the DPC
The Data Protection Commission (DPC) is an independent statutory body established under the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) to protect privacy of the individual and personal data by regulating the processing of personal information.
It provides for the process to obtain, hold, use or disclose personal information, and for other related issues bordering on the protection of personal data.
The Commission is given several powers under the Act: including the power to acquire property under the State Property and Contracts Act, 1960 (C.A.6) or the State Lands Act, 1962 (Act 125).