Dr. Albert Antwi- Boasiako, Head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) says the attitude of Ghanaians towards exposure of personal information is a major contributing factor to the increasing breach of privacy in the country.
According to him many Ghanaians easily give out their information when they visit offices, workshops or hotels, stressing that although there are legal provisions under the Data Protection Act 2012 (Act 843) which has been enacted to protect the privacy of people, individuals need to take some personal responsibility for their data protection.
“Throughout our regional engagement one of the concerns has been on how your information get into the hands of strangers, I think the fundamental problem starts with our attitude towards information sharing. We spread our information all over the place, give detail information including personal information to strangers on social media without thinking of the risks and unintended consequences to our personal security” he said.
Dr Antwi-Boasiako made this assertion at a Cybersecurity Capacity Building and Sensitisation Workshop organized by the National Cyber Security Centre for staff of the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council and members of the Eastern Regional Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
The event which forms part of the 2020 National Cyber Security Awareness Month is themed “Cybersecurity in the Era of COVID-19”.
Admitting that there is the need to enforce the provisions enshrined in the Data Protection Act, Dr. Antwi-Boasiako challenged Ghanaians to use available mechanisms provided by Act 843 including initiating formal complaints against businesses which fail to follow the data protection requirements in obtaining and processing personal information.
“The Data Protection Commission should also scale up its enforcement actions especially against recalcitrant data controllers to serve as a deterrent to institutions which flout on data protection regulations,” he added.
Touching on the prevalence of fake news, the NCSC boss admonished the media to be circumspect when publishing information since fake content has the potential to plunge the country into chaos.
“As journalists you always want to be the first to break the news, but that should be done bearing in mind that the production and circulation of fake news is a criminal offence under Section 115 of the Electronic Transactions Act, 2008 (Act 772) and Section 159 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and Section 76 of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775)” he added.
In a remark, Mr. Samuel Gyimah, Eastern Regional Coordinating Council Director, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic which has become a catalyst for digital acceleration has given credence to cybersecurity development.
He mentioned that the current rise in cyber criminal activities calls for intensified awareness on these activities.
Mr. Maxwell Kudekor, Eastern Regional GJA Chairman on his part called on Journalists to use their media platforms to propagate issues bordering on cybercrime and cybersecurity.
He admonished participants to be responsible when churning out information, stressing on the need to ensure due diligence on information before publication.