Ghana: 'Respect Digital Privacy of Children'

12 September 2023

Africa Digital Rights Hub (ADRH), a not for profit organisation, has stressed the need for the digital privacy of children to be respected.

To achieve this, the think-tank has recommended an increased awareness about children's online privacy and how to respect it.

Board chair of the ADRH and former Supreme Court Judge, Professor Justice S.K Date-Bah, said a collaborative approach, under which all relevant government agencies and key stakeholders come together to ensure increased privacy protection for children in Ghana, must be adopted.

He was speaking in Accra last Thursday at the launch of a report on data privacy rights and trust for young people in Ghana titled "Young People, Privacy and Trust in Ghana".

The report represents findings of a survey conducted by the ADRH in collaboration with two NGOs, Reset. Australia and Internet Society Foundation, on young people aged between 13 and 17 to explore their perspective on their privacy rights.

To facilitate the attainment of the goal of further protecting child online users, Professor Date-Bah indicated that children should be engaged more on issues of privacy.

Explaining, he mentioned that policy makers and decision makers should find solutions to the concerns of young people about their online privacy in school settings.

He also called on the Ministry of Education, in particular, to explore how to secure better protection for young people's privacy in the classrooms.

"An assurance of privacy will generate more trust among young people. Trust in products related to digital technologies will lead to greater use of them. This is likely to lead to greater efficiencies and higher productivity which many of them enable," he added.

Executive Director of ADRH, Ms Teki Akwetteh, in her submission, said the essence of the report was to get the views of Ghanaian children about their privacy online.

"We undertook this exercise through the series of workshops that we had with young children from different economic backgrounds in Accra and also worked with the schools to undertake online survey where we asked about 100 students questions around what they think about their privacy online."

"So the report essentially covered what the young people said about their privacy. It also captures some recommendation they made around how their privacy should be protected," she said.

She revealed that the majority of respondents in the survey did not know if they trusted that their privacy was respected online or not.

However, she bemoaned that the data of child online users were not being protected adequately.

The Executive Director of Child Online Africa, Ms Awo Aidam Amenyah, in her remarks, called for the introduction of a system that would ensure that children do not come across inappropriate contents such as pornography while using the internet.

She also called for a review of the Data Protection Act to make it more child-focused.

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