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With the advancement of technology, more organizations are using computers to store and process personal information. Databases maybe easily searched, accessed and edited than if records are paper-based. This has allowed for organization-wide access to databases and offered an easy way to share information with other organizations.

However, this poses the danger of information being misused or getting in the wrong hands. It is in this breath that the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in conjunction with Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MoJCA) and National Information Technology Authority, Uganda (NITA-U) have developed a Draft Data Protection and Privacy Bill. The Bill aims at protecting the privacy of the individual and personaldata.

The Bill is hinged on principles of Data Protection which are:-

a. Use the data for the purpose that it was collected;

b. Ensure transparency and participation of the person whose data is being collected;

c. Keep the information accurate and up to date;

d. Keep the data safe and not disclosed to other people;

e. Retain information only as long as required;

f. Provide access to the person whom the data refers, on request

The purpose of the Bill is to regulate the collection and processing of personal data. The Bill applies to any person, institution or public body which collects, processes, holds or uses personal data. It applies to both paper-based and electronic records. It provides for the rights of persons whose data is collected; sets out the obligations of persons who collect and process personal data; regulates its lawful use; provides for mechanisms for access and disclosure of personal data; and the requirement for security for the data to guard against breaches of individual privacy that may arise during the collecting, processing, transmission, storage and use of personal data.

As part of the process of developing this legislation, we are required to consult with stakeholders to obtain comments and views on the draft Bill. We now appeal to all citizens of Uganda for views on the draft Bill. Please submit your comments to policy@ict.go.ug or legal@nita.go.ug by 12 2014.