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Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

Africa’s mobile users are increasingly concerned about the mobile risks and the potential for digital identity theft; however, this is not stopping them from using their favourite messaging platforms and applications. This emerged in new research carried out by KnowBe4 among over 700 smartphone users in Nigeria, Mauritius, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, and Botswana. The KnowBe4 Mobile Users in Africa survey gauged the opinions of Africa’s mobile users on the recent decision by WhatsApp to update their terms and conditions, sharing metadata with the rest of the Facebook group of companies. The survey found that not only did the majority of the respondents across Africa intend to continue using WhatsApp; but also, that their favourite alternative to WhatsApp was Facebook Messenger. Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy & Evangelist Africa at KnowBe4, says the recent WhatsApp privacy policy has spurred public discussions which resulted in more consumer awareness about their privacy rights as well as brought more visibility to alternative tools such as Signal, Telegram, and others.

On the issue of privacy, the Ugandan government has published its national Data Protection and Privacy Regulations, 2021, which implement the Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019, providing for the protection of the privacy of individuals and of personal data. The Act established a Personal Data Protection Office, an independent body within the National Information Authority Uganda (NITA-U) to oversee the implementation and enforcement of the Act and maintain the data protection and privacy register. This Office launched in August 2021 and requires that persons, institutions, and public bodies within Uganda which collect, process, hold or use personal data as well as persons, institutions, or public bodies outside Uganda which collect personal data relating to Ugandan citizens, are all required to register with the Office.

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