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Activists want prisoners’ privacy protected as prisons embrace video conferencing

By Henry Sekanjako

Added 19th April 2019 04:30 PM

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe launched a video conferencing system to help in expediting the handling of criminal cases at a magisterial level while at the same time minimizing the cost of transporting suspe

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Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe launched a video conferencing system. Photo/File

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe launched a video conferencing system to help in expediting the handling of criminal cases at a magisterial level while at the same time minimizing the cost of transporting suspe

KAMPALA - The Unwanted Witness Uganda, an NGO has implored the government to establish a law to balance the protection and promotion of citizens’ fundamental right with advancing innovations.

According to Unwanted Witness, different government bodies and organs are rapidly embracing new technologies for the ease and quick delivery of services, but the country’s legal framework is not up to speed with the innovations posing grave consequences on human rights disruption including the right to privacy.

On Monday, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe launched a video conferencing system to help in expediting the handling of criminal cases at a magisterial level while at the same time minimizing the cost of transporting suspects.

Katureebe noted that the system will easily connect parties to a case, including interpreters and law enforcers with the magistrate’s court in real time.

“We are deeply concerned about the possible abuse prisoners’ rights to privacy as there are higher chances of illegal and authorized access to the personal data”, Dorothy Mukasa, the chief executive officer Unwanted Witness said.

Article 27 of Uganda’s Constitution stipulates that “No person shall be subjected to interference with the privacy of that person's home, correspondence, communication or other property.

During the launch, Justice Katureebe said that while conducting the video conferencing, they will be guided by 2011 laws such the Computer Misuse Act, Electronic Transactions Act, and the electronic signatures Act, however, did not mention the recently enacted Data protection and privacy law. 

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