Building Trust in the Digital Age: The Imperative of Responsible Data Handling

With recent penalty notice by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) to a few companies and institutions is a clear indication that data protection laws are essential for safeguarding individuals' personal information.

Creating an environment that allows the safeguarding of data which has pathways for digital access and the capability to allow our communities to effectively participate and thrive in the digital economy. I can’t agree enough on this, because we are equally offering digital space in agri-value chains through our digital tool, FSPN Africa and The Shamba Calendar working with actors in the food supply chain sector as discussed in a number of my previous articles. Through our established strategy, we work to ensure that no one ever loses their chances and aspirations in this digital era; be it the smallholder farmer, the consumers, food vendors, or even the government in matters planning to alleviate hunger and poverty within and beyond the borders. Compliance with data protection laws is a journey rather than a day’s event. I am glad that we as an institution have made significant strides to catch up since the Data Protection Regulations, 2021, took effect on 14 July 2022.

No one likes punitive actions enforced on them. In a world increasingly reliant on digital technologies and data sharing, it's crucial to ensure that people's personal data is handled responsibly and securely. This is the only way to build long-term trust with the people we serve and sustainably work harmoniously to meet their needs.

Data protection laws are particularly important for protecting vulnerable populations, such as children and marginalized communities, from potential data exploitation and privacy violations. They should provide a framework that encourages innovation and responsibly cultivates desired impact. When individuals trust that their data is protected, they are more likely to engage in activities that generate data, such as participation in digital services which is deemed crucial to making their lives better.

Essentially it is paramount to ensure the quality and accuracy of data meet its intended use in decision-making processes. Currently, FSPN Africa serves over 200, 000 SHFs with an aim of directly impacting 2 million SHF by 2026, through digital linkages to support services, we are therefore committed to ensuring farmers, partners, and other institutions' data is processed, and stored in accordance with privacy regulations, which will loop in decision-makers to have confidence in its reliability. I believe in the authenticity of data especially guided by the methodologies involved in collection and processing. This is coming in timely alongside huge responsibility in the implementation of the stipulated regulation in the Act and we are up to the task of ensuring complete compliance and definitely something you definitely must consider.

See the Certificate of Registration of Office of the Data Protection