Use of official documents to wrap food items a criminal offense - Data Protection Commission

Use of official documents to wrap food items a criminal offense - Data Protection Commission

- The Data Protection Commission has intercepted volumes of documents containing people’s personal information in a shop at the Madina Market

- Naa Dei Dzani, the owner of the shop was selling the documents at 50Gp for 20 copies

- According to her she did not know of any laws on the sale of people's data

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The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has intercepted volumes of documents containing people’s personal information in a shop at the Madina Market in Accra.

In a joint operation with the Cybercrime Unit of the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Divisional Police Command, documents mainly letters, certificates and health records which contained information such as bank accounts, salary records, telephone numbers, social security numbers and dates of birth were traced to Naa Dei Dzani, the owner of the shop was selling the documents at 50Gp for 20 copies.

Head of the Response Management Team at the DPC, Mr Dennis Darkwah, said the ministries and corporate institutions involved would be invited for interrogation by the commission.

Use of official documents to wrap food items a criminal offense - Data Protection Commission

Intercepted documents at the Madina market Source: Graphic.com.gh
Source: UGC

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Darkwah said a few days earlier, some members of staff of the DPC had chanced on some documents that had been used to wrap roasted plantain at the Madina Market.

He explained that the Executive Director of the DPC, Ms Patricia Adusei-Poku, subsequently deployed a team to conduct preliminary investigations and the source was traced to the Madina Market.

“We finally landed at Ms Dzani’s shop and realised that she was selling documents bearing people’s life data that contain information as recent as 2018 and we think that it’s something that has to be protected,” he stated.
“Section 88 of the Data Protection Act prohibits any individual from selling or disclosing information about any individual without his/her prior consent,” Mr Darkwah said.

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The seized documents were handed over to the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Divisional Police Command.

Ms Dzani indicated that she had been selling such documents for the past three years and that she had no idea of the information contained in them since she could not read.

She said she even found it difficult to read text messages on her phone and did not know anything about any law preventing her from selling those documents.

She said she bought the documents from various vendors who sold old newspapers to her.

She, however, assured the police that she would quit selling them when she was released.

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Source: Yen

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