MANAGING ELECTRONIC PRIVACY IN THE TELECOM SUB-SECTOR: THE UGANDAN PERSPECTIVE MANAGING ELECTRONIC PRIVACY IN THE TELECOM SUB-SECTOR: THE UGANDAN PERSPECTIVE

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  • MANAGING ELECTRONIC PRIVACY IN THE TELECOM SUB-SECTOR: THE UGANDAN PERSPECTIVE MANAGING ELECTRONIC PRIVACY IN THE TELECOM SUB-SECTOR: THE UGANDAN PERSPECTIVE Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga Senior Legislative Counsel Parliament of Uganda
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga2 FOCUS OF PAPER This paper focuses on -Legal aspects -the extraction of Calling Line Identification (CLI), traffic and location data.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga3 In African culture the community always comes first. The individual is born out of and into the community, therefore will always be part of the community. The Notion of Ubuntu and Communalism in African Educational Discourse- Elza Venter, Faculty of Education, University of South Africa.Published in Studies in Philosophy and Education 23 (2-3): 149-160, March, 2004 - May, 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga4 UGANDA:COUNTRY PROFILE Member of the East African Community and part of the Great Lakes Region. Has a history of political turmoil, civil strife, economic decline, bad governance and disregard of human rights. Past 20 years show better governance and increasing respect for human rights. Focus is more on abuse of right to life, property and freedom of association.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga5 IMPACT OF ICT REVOLUTION ON UGANDA Dynamic increase in investment and utilisation of ICT. Increased teledensity; improved facilities and services. increased geographical distribution of services. National coverage is now 55 of the 56 districts in the country.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga6 Impact contd.. Transport and Communications sector has increased contribution to GDP from 5.9% in 2002/2003 to 6.3% in 2003/2004 due to new investments in telecommunications. The burdens of the ICT revolution- excessive invasion of privacy an issue.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga7 Privacy in Uganda Privacy in the African context greatly affected by the philosophical concepts of communalism and individualism. African culture promotes communalism (It takes a village to raise a child., - Ujamaa -collectiveness, Ubuntu - a philosophy that promotes the common good of society and includes humaneness as an essential element of human growth)
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga8 Privacy in Uganda contd.. Great value has been placed upon communal fellowship which spills into private realm. Philosophical concepts affect the evolution of societal norms that play a major role in appreciation and respect for human rights and freedoms Individuals not keen on complaining about invasions.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga9 Privacy in Uganda contd.. Role Occupants -Law enforcement agencies e.g. Criminal Investigation Directorate, Police Officers. -Security and Intelligence organs -Judicial officers:these sign the court orders authorising release of traffic data -Telecom service providers have possession of traffic data -Users:most are un-aware of their rights- privacy myopia.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga10 Legal Provisions Privacy regimes are under-developed in Africa resulting in communal considerations over-riding individual and absence of adequate legislation Legal provisions do exist that affect and/or cater for the right to privacy, though some are not very express.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga11 Legal Provisions contd.. Constitution 1995 Art 27(2)- No person shall be subjected to interference with the privacy of that person's communication. Art 50- Establishment of the Uganda Human Rights Commission Art 79- Parliament to make laws, role of oversight over government.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga12 Legal Provisions contd.. Communications Act: An offence for an operator of a communications service or system or employer of the same to disclose any information in relation to a communication unless done in accordance with a court order or with originators consent. Uganda Human Rights Commission Act: UHRC monitors activities in more contentious areas especially activities of security agencies.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga13 Legal Provisions contd.. Uganda Law Reform Commission Act Conducting research and making proposals for the development of laws concerning legal issues in the electronic environment. It is expected that research into the legal issues pertaining to electronic transactions will focus on e-privacy as well.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga14 Legal Provisions contd.. Suppression of Terrorism Act- permits interception of communications. Law of Torts-invasion of privacy Uganda inherited her common law system from the British colonial government. N o provision for the tort of invasion of privacy
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga15 Legal Provisions contd.. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights- Article 12 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights- Article 17 African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights silent on the right to privacy.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga16 Weaknesses Lack of guidelines on how to go about privacy issues Emphasis on other rights Lack of a general law on privacy Ignorance and lack of awareness
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga17 Recommendations Personal data should be protected and treated as a priority. Enactment of a law and policy on privacy that can regulate the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, also in the telecommunications sub-sector Law enforcement officers need laws and guidelines to keep them in line with the requirements of privacy laws so as to prevent abuse
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga18 Recommendations contd.. Telecommunications companies should develop privacy policies raise awareness for customers through consumer organisations boost the activities of complaints desks in telecommunications companies-with better capacity to address growing needs
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga19 Recommendations contd.. More education and awareness raising of privacy as a right. Capacity building for role occupants remains crucial in the area of legal issues pertaining to ICT including privacy concerns. Legislation that encourages or permits superfluous invasion of privacy in both electronic and non-electronic form should be reviewed and amended.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga20 Recommendations contd.. Uganda Communications Commission should enforce standards of networks and monitor systems so to ensure that all systems are secure from leaks, illegal surveillance. Need to commission studies to obtain perceptions of privacy within the Ugandan society Regional efforts at harmonisation of telecommunications and electronic privacy laws and policies are necessary.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga21 Recommendations contd.. Parliament should make a special requirement for the Uganda Human Rights Commission to report on the state of privacy in Uganda to be able to develop benchmarks on the basis of which regulators can operate.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga22 Conclusion Electronic privacy remains a challenge, as highly advanced privacy invasive technologies continue to emerge and evolve. Only with collaborative efforts from all stakeholders can electronic privacy be achieved. Given that it touches on deeply entrenched social constructs, the development of a privacy regime should not to result in conflict.
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  • 30th November 2004Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga23 THANK YOU Elizabeth Martha Bakibinga Senior Legislative Counsel Parliament of Uganda lizbak@parliament.go.ug