Mr. Nyamu said some firms had even put the data up for sale, although it was hard to quantify the actual value.
Data is siphoned from several quarters including public registries such as census, surveys, when visiting premises, signing up for services and so much more.
Kenyans are required to routinely share their personal data including their location, ID numbers, telephone, work, email addresses, marital status, employment and all private information.
Unfortunately, this puts the individuals at risk as their identities can be stolen and used maliciously. Fraudsters can also use the information to hack into emails or bank accounts and cause even more damage.
On several occasions, a number of users have taken to social media to complain about the number of unwarranted text messages from unknown companies.
The Data protection commissioner’s office led by Immaculate Kassait aims to protect Kenyans’ data frombeing mishandled. The office invites the public to file complaints or report cases where their data was compromised.
Among the first cases the office has addressed is the recent scenario where Kenyans woke up to find their details registered to different political parties without their knowledge. The Data protection office directed that the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties take the responsibility of ensuring that the affected users were deregistered.