Big Data, Internet Privacy and the Vulnerabilities of the African Regulatory Landscape

Mohammed Suleh-Yusuf


Social media generates massive amount of big data from users, the penetration of these platforms in Africa creates meaningful insights around customer needs and behaviour from the data. This helps to create new businesses that rebalance the technology and wealth gap in the continent. With every gigabytes of data generated brings about exploitation of customer data. Data Privacy becomes a focal point of concern. The global approaches to privacy for the users of social media platforms is still evolving but two jurisdictions have set a standard. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Californian Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have provisions that are built on sustaining consumer consent and enabling consumers to be forgotten or have their consented data deleted at their own request. More so the exponential growth of the internet in Africa highlights the explosion of big data and there is a need to study its regulatory approaches in relation to the global best practices symbolized by the GDPR and the CCPA. The Paper reviews the African regulatory landscape and its approach to Big Data and possible vulnerable angles that exposes data of Africans on these social media platforms. It is clear that in spite of a continental treaty and a reasonable number of African countries with Data Privacy laws, these laws are in most of the countries either not built on strong legal grounds or lack an independent enforcement mechanism. Therefore the African approach leaves a lot of open issues and there is a need for a continental consensus on the best approach that will push through national legislations crept on a unifying continental model.

Keywords: Big Data, Privacy, Regulatory, Social Media, Data analytics, Guidelines, rights

DOI: 10.7176/EJBM/12-17-14

Publication date:June 30th 2020

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