Liquid courts the public sector, looks to end use of Gmail for govt business

Leonard Sengere Avatar

Liquid Intelligent Technologies held a ‘Data protection for the public sector’ event. Indeed, representatives from the IT departments of various public sector organisations were in attendance. And data protection was discussed.

In a few hours, the Data Protection Act of 2021 was unpacked, an overview of data protection was given and data protection solutions for the public sector were discussed.

Presentations were made by the Regional Head for Legal and Regulatory – Central Africa, a Presales and Complex Solutions Specialist and a Managed Services executive.

The Liquid guys could not go into the entire Data Protection Act in the little time available. They instead focused on a few areas, including:

  • General rules on processing data
  • Duties and obligations of data controller/ data processor and rights of the data subject
  • Data breaches
  • And the fun one – Offences and penalties

It is always sobering to remember that any data controller, representative, agent or assignee who violates certain sections of the Act may be fined US$1000, imprisoned for 7 years, or both. So, understanding the Act is critical if you don’t want that.

I think some of us out here are data controllers but don’t consider ourselves to be. That won’t hold up in court, unfortunately.

You may want to revisit the brilliant citizen’s guide to the Data Protection Act that the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe released some months ago:

Do note that Cyber and Data Protections Regulations (Licensing of Data Controllers and Appointment of Data Protection Officers (DPOs) are still a work in progress. When they come out we shall know exactly what enforcement of the Act will look like.

Data protection for the public sector

Liquid first reminded us that cyber crimes are on the rise across the world. Unfortunately, there isn’t any concrete data on the cyber attacks in Zimbabwe. However, estimates say 82% of Zimbabwean businesses have experienced cyber threats and attacks.

The Internet Society of Zimbabwe has given a similar figure before. They say organisations do not report these attacks to save face but they have been targeted a lot lately.

Liquid then went into the value of data and how government data is siloed, reducing its utility.

Naturally, they went on to their own data protection solutions. Talking about how you wouldn’t need to worry about compliance issues (remember 7 years in prison awaits) if you went with Liquid, among other things.

I believe that was the whole point of the event but I don’t think we can fault Liquid for it. It is good business.

Even if some parastatals do not go with Liquid’s solutions, but still take security seriously because of the event, that’s still a win for us all, including Liquid.

Under no circumstances should a Zimbabwean government department be using free Gmail accounts. It was only recently that that conversation was had on Twitter when someone shared some govt agency proudly using Gmail.

So, if Liquid’s initiative leads to less and less of that, that counts as public service in my book.

I should let you know that it was encouraging to find out that some govt departments and parastatals are indeed taking data security seriously. No Gmail users were in attendance.

Also read:

POTRAZ invites your input on data protection regulations, you might want to participate

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  1. Cholera 23

    Ha Ha

  2. Fanny

    Morning people, still browsing

  3. Anonymous

    Techzim has gone nocturnal

    1. Fanny

      Why are you saying that

      1. Fellow Nocturnal

        Nothing serious. Quite a few posts and comment replies from them go up late evening/early morning. Thanks a lot, Zesa🤦🏾‍♂️

  4. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    You need to understand why Gmail addresses are used. A tech savvy civil servant understands the need to be digitally accessible. They ask, “What’s our email?”, they don’t have one. “How do we get one?”, they have no IT. Noone knows, a reach out to ICT Ministry refers them to GISP. GISP requires an official proposal from an authority at the parent ministry. Mr. Tech Savvy thinks, let’s me just open a Gmail account while my boss makes the bureaucratic authorisation request. Months go by using this temporary email, next it’s on official ministry directories and letterheads. Mr. Tech Savvy has actual work to follow up on, his age old request matters to him no more. The Gmail account works, everyone has the password, he can check it, his boss can check it, his colleagues can check it, the CIA can check it, everyone is happy!

    1. Vegaz

      Kikikiki true that,

      1. Shadreck Zhuanginyu

        I offer Email and Web hosting at a cheaper and affordable price of $4 per month for full package.

    2. Isaac

      The fun part is these guys have a domain name and a website. In this age people still think you need email hosting to have a professional custom email – I mean, not everyone affords it. Email hosting is good for its own reasons. I have multiple custom emails yet, I can send, receive and even have my mails filtered of spam and tracking scripts without any hosting.

    3. Leonard Sengere

      🤣🤣 Everyone is happy indeed. And yeah, that explanation makes a lot of sense. The dept can’t go without email and the longer the process takes, the higher the chance that the Gmail will stick.

    4. Leonard Sengere

      Gotta make sure the CIA is happy 🤣🤣. Ah, that explanation makes a lot of sense. You can only wait for so long before you just move on to the Gmail. Before you know it, the Gmail is on marketing material and you’re being made fun of on social media.

  5. Tonderai

    Your article doesn’t seem to highlight where Liquid pushed the agenda to end Gmail use by government.

  6. 007

    Everyone is happy

    1. Fanny

      🤣🤣 yeah everyone

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