Kenya Communications Authority looks to ramp up regulations on digital services

08 November 2018 Authored by Consultancy.africa

In light of increasing threats to private data, the regulatory body for the telecom sector in Kenya – the Communications Authority – is on the lookout for consulting support to determine how to regulate online service providers and applications such as Skype, Whatsapp and Facebook.

As the digitally connected consumer base across Africa continues to grow at a rapid rate, the corresponding issue of cybersecurity has increasingly come to the fore in recent times. As new users begin to use the internet for increasingly important tasks, the repository of sensitive data is likely to grow in tandem.

In such a scenario, most new and inexperienced users will be vulnerable to attacks and compromises, given the new range of underhanded techniques being employed by predators on the internet. This has increasingly been a cause for concern in Kenya, where the cybersecurity market is rapidly expanding.

Kenya Communications Authority looks to ramp up regulations on digital services

A number of consulting firms have been ramping up their operations to support both firms and individuals with familiarising themselves with the notion of cybersecurity and the varying mechanisms involved. As a result, the cybersecurity market in the country is expected to surpass the $600 million market by 2022.

Correspondingly, the Communications Authority has now ramped up its efforts to regulate this growing body of data being exchanged. The attention of the body has fallen first on the most prominent players in the online domain, namely Facebook-owned Whatsapp and Microsoft-owned Skype.

Specifically, the body is looking for mechanisms to ensure that these large service providers share the data that they collect with the government in the same manner that the text message and call records are currently shared. To help with this, the authority is now on the lookout for consulting support.

The consulting firm will be expected to study the operations of these service providers and offer recommended mechanisms. The Communications Authority will review these mechanisms and select those that fall within its jurisdiction, thereby enforcing “security and confidentiality provisions” on service providers in the country. 

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