March 4, 2022

Curtailing State Extremism In Data Governance

There is an increasing level of attention and growing conversations at the national, regional and global levels, around the imperative for a more effective set of rules and regulations to guide the use and sharing of online data and digital footprints of individuals, firms and governments. The rationale is that a framework of policies and strategies is essential to address the inherent risks emerging from the recent data revolution. Emerging threats range from abuse and misuse of technologies and new communication media, lack of accountability from digital platform firms at the core of the data ecosystem, national security concerns, cyber crime, and user privacy issues. Such policies are intended to make digital platform firms accountable for how data is collected and used to generate insights, stored, shared and protected in order to engender trust in the data ecosystem.
In recognizing the importance of data governance, a grave challenge lies in determining the most appropriate approach to adopt, bearing in mind that the goal is not to “over regulate” which could stifle innovation, nor abuse governmental powers on these issues. Several approaches and frameworks for data governance are emerging in this respect on the African continent.

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