The Inaugural Annual Privacy Scorecard Unveiled

Kampala, 30th/10/2020; Unwanted Witness Uganda together with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and National Guidance have today unveiled the inaugural annual “Privacy Scorecard”.  The Privacy Scorecard is a monitoring tool that will be used to provide Ugandans with critical information on how different personal data collectors/processors comply with the Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019 as well as principles and standards of personal data protection, to empower data subjects to control their personal data and make informed choices.

As personal data has taken an increasing role in all of our lives and our lives translate ever more into electronic media and data, the questions of who collects that data, what it is used for, who it is shared with and what rights we have over that data are as fundamental to us as any other human right.

In 2019, Uganda enacted the Data Protection and Privacy Act 2019 to regulate the processing of personal data by both public and private entities with the aim of protecting people and their data from various risks that could result into not only infringements of the right to privacy but also other rights such as property rights with varying consequences.

“All collection and processing of personal data must be undertaken lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner taking into consideration the legal basis, which includes compliance with all legal obligations as stipulated in the data protection legislation,” said Dorothy Mukasa the Executive Director of Unwanted Witness.

She noted that some companies are increasingly meeting those expectations, but there are still many companies that lag behind, fail to enact best practices around transparency, or don’t prioritize user privacy and dignity. 

To that end, Unwanted Witness’s Privacy Scorecard seeks to encourage data collectors/processors adopt data protection best practices, as well as empower citizens in Uganda to demand for information pertaining to how their personal data is collected, what it is used for and who it is shared with. At the same time recognise data collectors/processors that have complied with data protection laws and best practices.

“The scorecard will be an important feedback mechanism to the data collectors, processors and controller on their compliancy to the Data Protection and Privacy Act 2019” said Julius Torach the Commissioner E-Services Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.

The Scorecard will focus on the law, corporate policies and practices. It will turn a spotlight on how the policies of private and public sectors either advance or hinder the privacy rights of users and it will recognize those companies or government agencies that buttress and ensure data protection and privacy best practices. The idea is to have data collector/processors bring more transparency to how they use and divulge people’s data.

The role of The Privacy Scorecard is to provide objective measurements for analysing the policies and practices of major data collectors when it comes to handling personal data. We focus on a handful of specific, measurable criteria that can act as a vital stopgap against unfettered abuse of user data. Through this scorecard, we hope to galvanize widespread changes in the policies of private and public data collectors to ensure that citizen’s digital lives are not subject to manipulation, hence safeguarding human rights and dignity.

Parties shall be awarded credits on 5 crucial areas that include;

  1. Compliant with privacy best practices.
  2. Gives information to data subject before collection of data
  3. Disclosure of user’s data.
  4. Practice Robust Data Security.
  5. Practice Minimal Data Collection:

About Unwanted Witness

The Unwanted Witness is a civil society organization (CSO) that was established to respond to the gap in effective communication using various online expression platforms.