Where do Kenyan businesses stand on customer data protection?

Where do Kenyan businesses stand on customer data protection?

After reading a friend’s blog post on whether Kenyan companies train their male staff on how to interact with female clients a few things came to light. Other than the vulnerability of women in our society, as was highlighted by her experiences of harassment, there was the issue of whether these establishments and Kenyan companies/businesses in general bare in mind the safeguard of customer private information.

It is not uncommon to be asked to leave private information when you visit an office or event in Kenya. Most will say that this is done for security reasons but the question is who has access to this information once someone has given it. If I leave my ID number, email address or phone number, does the business make it their responsibility to safeguard this information?

According to the Kenyan constitution

“Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have–

(a) their person, home or property searched;
(b) their possessions seized;
(c) information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or
(d) the privacy of their communications infringed.”

The fact that an employee of a company can use private information to contact and harass a customer is a clear violation of the customer’s rights.

I am not saying that the customer is free of blame but the bigger share of this pie is given to the company that requested for this information. As a customer you have the voice to ask as whether this information will remain private and who has access it. That being said, one of the key pillars of a relationship between a business and its client is trust and this extends to how the company handles information given to its employees.

Civil education on this could come in handy to ensure that civilians are educated on their right of privacy. To most of us, sharing this information is no big deal but we must be vigilant as to how this information is used lest it comes back to hurt us.

Anyone with the necessary insights please comment and let us know the current state of customer privacy policies among Kenyan businesses.


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