Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) has urged businesses to comply with the country’s new Data Protection Act.
The legislation came into effect in October 2021 and covers the lawfulness and fairness of processing, retention limitation, data minimisation, purpose limitation, relevance and adequacy of personal data, as well as the integrity and confidentiality of personal data.
The Act’s transition period is 12 months from the date of enactment and will automatically terminate on October 15, 2022, requiring businesses and data controllers to begin the compliance process.
BTC Chief Operations Officer Aldrin Sivako, speaking at the company’s Cloud Talks series, titled “The Importance of Data Protection in the Digital World,” noted that with the increased use of the internet, fueled by COVID-19, the importance of privacy and data protection has become vital.
“Data protection is another key topic that is critical in our time as countries and businesses race to pursue digital transformation initiatives to stay relevant and resilient in the future while respecting the laws of the countries where they operate, particularly laws relating to personal data protection,” Sivako said.
He went on to say that the new Data Protection Act and the country’s cyber security policy will go a long way toward assuring consumer data protection and preventing third-party exploitation or abuse of data through unauthorised access.
According to Cecil Masiga, Deputy Permanent Secretary for ICT at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, data protection is a regulatory framework for preserving the privacy of persons in respect to how their data is kept, communicated, and stored.
“Data protection laws regulate the protection of personal data by governmental and non-governmental organisations, and every entity that handles customers’ personal information must be conversant with the law since compliance is mandatory.”