Q&A – 11 March 2024

Use of personal data

We are a new business firm based in Mwanza and want to launch a website and mobile app to expand our reach to customers. When customers visit our website or use our loyalty app, we intend to collect certain personal data and use it for a specific purpose like improving their experience or offering tailored promotions. We might also use the data for other purposes not determined yet. Are there any legal restrictions for this as we want to be compliant? Kindly guide us.
TR, Mwanza

It is good that you want to ensure customer privacy and protection of their personal data. With the recent surge in digital technology and data driven services, Tanzania has recently adopted the Personal Data Protection Act No. 11 of 2022 (the Act). In addition, the Personal Data Protection (Personal Data Collection and Processing) Regulations, 2023 GN No. 449C of 2023 (the Regulations) were also adopted to safeguard and regulate the collection and processing of personal data.  In your situation, you should be mindful that Section 25 of the Act requires that personal data collected shall be used for the intended purpose and not otherwise unless: the data subject authorises the use of the data for another purpose; use of the personal data for that other purpose is authorised or required by law; the purpose for which the personal data is used is directly related to the purpose for which the personal data was collected; the personal data is used in a form that the data subject is not identified or for statistical or research purposes in a form that that the data subject is not identified; where there is reasonable ground that the use for that other purpose is  necessary to prevent or lessen  a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of the data subject or other person or to public health  or safety; or use of personal data for that  other purpose is necessary for compliance with the laws.

In general, the Act prohibits disclosure of personal data to a person other than the data subject except in the circumstances specified under section 25 of the Act above. Likewise, under Regulation 4(1), a person shall not collect or process personal data without being registered with the Personal Data Protection Commission as a data controller or data processor. Further, Regulation 4(2) requires that a person who intends to collect or process personal data shall submit an application for registration to the Commission as prescribed in the Regulations. Please be mindful of the above when you collect data.


Flying a drone in national park

I am an award-winning wildlife filmmaker and have recently secured a contract with a renowned production company based in the USA to produce a three-part documentary on the great wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park. To capture this famous captivating event, my crew and I plan to use drones to obtain spectacular aerial shot videos for the documentary.

In general, a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) can be flown in Tanzania subject to Compliance with the Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2018 GN 758 of  2018 (the  Regulations). The Regulations apply to all persons operating or maintaining remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) registered in the United Republic of Tanzania wherever they may be and any RPAS operating in the United Republic of Tanzania. According to Regulation 7(1) a person shall not operate a RPA within the United Republic of Tanzania unless the RPA has been registered by the Authority and a certificate of registration has been issued in accordance with these Regulations. Further, under Regulation 72(2) a person who operates a RPAS, without authorisation commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine of not less than TZS 1M or on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

In the case of flying a drone in a National park, the procedures and guidelines for drone operations in the Parks are provided by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). TANAPA restricts the use of drones inside national parks for conservation reasons and general safety of wild animals as well as tourists.  However, in your case, permission may be granted if you request and obtain a permit from the Filming board of Tanzania; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence and TCAA. After obtaining these permits from the specified authorities, you are required to apply to the Conservation Commissioner-TANAPA.  The application made to the Conservation Commissioner will be accompanied by copies of the permits from the specified authorities. In case you successfully obtain a permit, the same remains valid where other conditions stated therein are adhered to. Note that Park Management may have other conditions for you to comply with and has the right to revoke the permit in case of default. Your lawyer can guide you further.

Possession of stolen property

My sister runs a mobile money business in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. Last year, she was arrested after she was found in possession of two mobile phones. However, she explained to the police officers that the phones were her properties which she bought at a mobile phone market in town and was using them in her business. At the end of the trial, my sister was convicted. I was in Court on the day of judgement and I remember the magistrate saying something on the doctrine of recent possession and the fact that since my sister was found in possession of the phone which had been recently stolen and identified by the owner, then she was guilty.  I don’t think this is unfair. Why was she convicted?
IS, Dar es Salaam

It is a well-established principle of law that where a person is found in possession of a property recently stolen or unlawfully obtained there is a presumption that the person stole the property. This is what is known as the doctrine of recent possession. The doctrine entitles the Court to assume that the individual in possession of the stolen property was the one who committed the theft in the first place. However, in order to invoke the doctrine of recent possession, the Court must establish that the property was indeed stolen, the theft occurred recently and there is no reasonable explanation as to ownership from the person who was found with the stolen property. You may seek the help of your lawyer to further understand this doctrine and why your sister was convicted as we do not have all the facts.