Mr Moses Baiden, Chief Executive Officer of Margins ID Group, says regulations of the National Identification Authority (NIA) prohibit banks from taking photocopies of national identification cards for transactions.
“With the NIA system, if you go to the bank you have to present yourself to the bank and put forth your finger print for the bank to get an audit code connected to your transaction,” he said, stressing photocopying of clients’ ID cards was illegal.
Mr Baiden said this during a panel discussion on the sidelines of Data Protection Africa Summit on the topic: “Data protection implementation in the delivery of ID systems in Africa”.
The Summit is a flagship programme of the Africa Digital Rights Hub (ADRH) held annually across Africa.
It focuses on key areas such as
Generative Al, Data Transfers across Africa, Data Protection and ID Systems in Africa as Digital Trade, Data Protection and the African Continental Free Trade Agreements (AfCFTA).
The Margins Group has been a partner of the NIA in the development and issuance of the National Identification Cards (Ghana Cards).
Mr Baiden’s remarks were in response to issues of governance, compliance and enforcement of data protection among institutions.
He said the challenge the country faced in its data protection and identification bid was not a data collection or technological problem, but attitudinal and enforcement problems.
“If we want a clean data collection society where laws are fully enforced, it is beyond data protection and technology, but rather attitudinal,” he noted.
Mr Baiden urged institutions to be fully abreast of NIA system to make well informed decisions and practices.
Ms Teki Akuetteh, Founder and Executive Director of ADRH, observed that the populace lacked awareness on data collection and protection process.
She said most people were not aware of what their data collected was being used for and they were vulnerable to threats of data manipulation.
She urged stakeholder institutions to increase sensitisation and awareness drive on data collection and protection rights of the citizenry to enable them make informed choices and decisions.
Ms Akuetteh called for the creation of a synchronised and centralised national database system where institutions could collect data for identification purposes.
That, she said, would help the institutions to save money and time in their data collection processes and minimise risks and threats to unauthorised access.
More than 200 delegates across Africa and other parts of the world participated in the Accra Summit.
The three-day international conference was onnthe broader theme: “Building Bridges for Oversight and Accountability”, and brought together policy makers, regulators, researchers, lawmakers as well as key industry players in the digital space, particularly data protection practitioners and privacy experts.