CONSUMER Q&A: THREE MINUTES WITH MS. STELLA ALIBATEESE, The National Personal Data Protection Director

18 AUGUST 2021

Ms. Stella Alibateese is the National Personal Data Protection Director. In this capacity, she acts as the National focal point for monitoring and assurance of matters related to implementing the Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019.

Ms. Stella Alibateese
National Personal Data Protection Director 

Here Stella spares a moment to answer some consumer questions…

What is personal data, and why is it important?

Personal data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable living individual.  What identifies an individual could be as simple as a name, e-mail address, telephone number or identification card number or could include other identifiers such as an IP address.

Personal data may also include special categories of personal data, such as religious beliefs, political opinions, financial information, health, or medical records of an individual.  These are more sensitive, and you may only process them in more limited circumstances.

Personal data is important because of its benefit to the owner and others who utilise it to provide various services to an individual.  Personal data is important to the individual to whom it relates, to an organisation that utilises it in its operations, to other parties who might want to use the information, for instance, for marketing purposes and the government to identify its citizens and provide them services.

How will the Personal Data Protection Office protect Ugandans?

  • It will ensure that all personal data controllers, processors and collectors respect and handle all personal data in accordance with the data protection and privacy principles provided in the Data Protection and Privacy Act.
  • It will promote public awareness and understanding of the risks, safeguards, and rights related to collecting and processing their personal data across the country.
  • It will receive and investigate complaints lodged by individuals or by their representatives and take appropriate action.

What industry trends are you most excited about?

  • Collaborative regulation gives regulators an opportunity to work as one, which reduces the regulatory burden.
  • Increased automation of data protection and privacy compliance. Tools that enable automation of data protection and privacy compliance, such as enabling data subjects to exercise their rights, data security breach reporting and handling of complaints, make it easy for organisations to comply with the law.
  • Data Protection Authority networks developing in Africa. These networks will enable collaboration between data protection and privacy regulators, a common approach to data protection and privacy across the continent and foster easy enforcement across borders.

For more accessible consumer tips, tools and resources, get in touch with us via email at consumeraffairs@ucc.co.ug, toll-free on 0800222777 or Twitter @ConsumerUCC.

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