South Africa, like many other African countries, has data protection laws modelled after the European Union’s GDPR and therefore one fails to understand why Facebook has chosen to respect one jurisdiction’s laws while ignoring others.
The Kenyan Data Protection Act was enacted in 2019 and a Data Commissioner was appointed a year later. The Data Commissioner is yet to comment or issue a statement on Facebook’s intentions with the revised Whatsapp terms and conditions.
Continental laws the way to go?
‘Umoja ni nguvu.’ Unity is strength is a swahili saying that sums up the most ideal solution to this discrimination in treatment. The GDPR governs several countries and being pursued by data protection authorities of 27 plus markets due to non-compliance is not a situation any company wishes to be in. What if all African states had ratified the Maputo Convention or any other continental data protection law? Would Facebook risk a united backlash from over 50 countries?
African nations need to unite under one data protection law just like the EU’s GDPR as that will mean that the African digital market will be a market too big to ignore in terms of regulatory issues.
Disclaimer: The views expressed do not necessarily represent the view of the organization that author works for.