The Personal Data Protection Office issues annual compliance report notice to registered data collectors, controllers, and processors

The Personal Data Protection Office (“PDPO”) pursuant to Regulation (“Reg”) 50 of the Data Protection and Privacy Regulations, 2021, directed all data collectors, controllers and data processors registered under the Regulations to submit to the office an annual compliance report between 1st July and 28th September of every calendar year.

Under Reg. 50, every data collector, data processor and data controller registered under the Regulations is required to submit to the PDPO a summary of all complaints received, all data breaches and the actions taken to address such data breaches. Reg. 4(b) of the Data Protection and Privacy Regulations mandates the PDPO to coordinate, supervise and monitor data collectors, data processors and data controllers on all matters relating to the Act. To this end, the PDPO monitors the said persons by expanding the scope of the annual compliance report to ensure the desired levels of compliance are reached.

Parliament passes the Computer Misuse Amendment Act

On 8 September 2022, the Parliament of Uganda passed the Computer Misuse Amendment Act, 2022. Shortly thereafter, the Act was assented to by the President on 13 October 2022. The Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill, 2022 sought to amend the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 to enhance the provisions on unauthorised access to information or data; prohibit the sharing of any information relating to a child without authorisation from a parent or guardian and to prohibit the sending or sharing of information that promotes hate speech among other objects.

The Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act, 2022 creates the offence of hate speech and states that a person shall not write, send or share any information through a computer, likely to ridicule, degrade or demean another person, group of persons, tribe, ethnicity, religion or gender. It also creates the offence of unsolicited information and sending of misleading or malicious

information. Importantly, it states that a person who is convicted under the Act shall not be eligible to hold a public office for a period of ten years and where the person convicted is a leader or public officer, the person shall, in addition to the prescribed punishment, be dismissed from office or vacate his or her office.

Thirteen Petitioners have however petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the constitutionality of the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act, 2022. The petitioners argue that the amendments to the Act are overly broad, imprecise, and unjustifiably limit the freedom of expression and the right to practice one’s profession and carry on any lawful occupation, trade, or business and access to information.

Bank of Uganda and Uganda Communications Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding

On 9 November 2022, Bank of Uganda (“BOU”) signed a memorandum of understanding with Uganda Communications Commission (“UCC”). This is following the MoU signed in 2018 to collaborate on delivering financial services via mobile phones. It is reported by BOU that the revised MoU provides a framework that is fit for digital transformation by facilitating information exchange and cooperation on licensing, approval, oversight and supervision of payment services & systems as well as the related financial service innovations.

UCC also reported that the MoU will govern their affiliation regarding licensing, approval, regulation and supervision of payment services and systems in Uganda. The MoU will further provide a framework for the authorities to exchange information, coordinate licensing, risk management, cyber security and consumer protection within the payments eco systems and related financial services in Uganda.

PearlAfricaSAT-1 satellitelaunch

On 6 November 2022, Uganda launched PearlAfricaSAT-1 following efforts by the government towards creating an indigenous space program. PEARLAFRICASAT-1 is part of the BIRDS-5 project to enable local engineers to obtain training in designing, building, testing, launching and operation of satellites. The BIRDS-5 project was led by Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan.

From the report of the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation under Office of the President, PearlAfricaSat-1 was handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for final testing on 10 May 2022. The satellite, according to Hon. Monica Musenero Musanza completed all tests and was subsequently handed over to the United States of America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for launch and deployment. It will subsequently be deployed into low earth orbit in December 2022.

The Minister reported that PearlAfricaSat-1 has a multispectral camera payload which will provide research and observation high- resolution image data to support weather forecasting, land, water, and mineral mapping, agriculture, monitoring, infrastructure planning, border security and disaster prevention.

Presentation of the Report of the 4IR Taskforce

On 8 December 2022, the 4IR Presidential Task force, which was inaugurated in 2019, handed over a report with recommendations of actions to be undertaken by the Government of Uganda to harness different 4IR technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence and blockchain.

The Report includes recommendations on the potential of Uganda to become a global leader in harnessing 4IR application to solve development challenges and calls upon the private sector and civil society to join hands with the government to collectively harness 4IR opportunities for growth, competitiveness and business development.

Importantly the 4IR strategy looks towards key opportunity zones such as unlocking potential in agriculture, transforming human capital development, overcoming the economic shortfalls and supplementing urban governance. The critical enablers of this shall be 4IR connectivity, agile governance, upskilled government population, e-government and resource mobilization governance. The delivery mechanisms shall be through funding coordination, ecosystem facilitation and government coordinating mechanisms.

Government seeks to reduce cost of gigabyte of data from USD $35 to USD $25

The State Minister for ICT and National Guidance Godfrey Baluku Kabyanga, stated that the Uganda Government was working on measures to reduce the cost of a gigabyte of data by $10 by 2023. Speaking at the launch of the E-Trade and Start-up Association of Uganda, Mr Kabyanga said the government’s target is to bring the cost of a gigabyte of data from the current $35 (Shs135, 000) to at least $25 (Shs96,000). This, he said, will be achieved through continued investment in the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure Project across the country, which will deepen digital communication and e-commerce.

The Association, which was founded by among others, Safe Boda, Jumia and Tugende, a for-profit social enterprise seeks to enhance e-trade in the country as well as devise ways through which they can tackle the threat of cyber-attacks. The association will also seek to help e-trade companies and start-ups unlock the potential of e-commerce as well as ensure that all transactions and sold goods or services meet required standards.

Source: Bowmans – The Google SSA Legal Hub Newsletter BY THE HUB, FOR THE HUB
Issue No. 1, April 2023
(Page 14)