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Actor Paul Ogola awarded Sh1.4m in lawsuit over unauthorised billboard photos

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has awarded Kenyan actor Paul Ogola Sh1.4 million against Shalina Healthcare Kenya Limited for unauthorised use of his image in various advertising campaigns after the expiration of their contract.

The actor had filed a complaint against Shalima Healthcare after they continued to use his images for its campaigns online, billboards, posters, moving pictures, websites and printed calendars without his knowledge or consent.

“The Office of Data Protection, under the guidance of Advocate Mak’Owade Gabriel, uncovered Shalina Healthcare Kenya’s transgressions in unlawfully utilizing my image to push their pharmaceutical product on billboards, calendars and posters without my consent,” Ogola said after the ruling.

The actor had entered into a contract with the company and permitted them to use his image for an online campaign to advertise a product known as Pharmasal for a period of six months.

The contract period was between February 12, 2022, and ended on August 12, 2022.

In the ruling delivered by Immaculate Kassait, the Data Commissioner, it was determined that Shalina Healthcare had breached the terms of the original contract and violated Ogola’s data protection rights.

He was awarded compensation of Sh500,000 for images on billboards (outdoor advertising): Sh500,000, Sh500,000for images on calendar (calendars), images on websites and social media pages: Sh200,000 and infringement of the right to be informed under Section 26(a) of the Data Protection Act: Sh250,000.

The total compensation order payable to Ogola by Shalina Healthcare Kenya Limited is Sh1,450,000. Both parties have the right to appeal the determination to the High Court of Kenya within 30 days.

Last year, Roma School, an educational institution based in Uthiru was also fined Sh4,550,000 for posting minor’s pictures without parental consent.

Ms Kassait said at the time of the ruling that sends a message to schools and other facilities handling minors’ personal data to obtain consent from parents/guardians.

“This being the first and the highest penalty to an educational facility sends a message to schools and other facilities handling minors’ personal data to obtain consent from parents/guardians prior to processing minors’s data,” she said.

The office of the Data Protection Commissioner added that failure to comply with the act will result in instituting enforcement procedures.

Casa Vera Lounge was also fined Sh1,850,000 for posting the image of a patron on its social media platform without the consent of the customer.

Other organizations that have been fined are digital credit provider Mulla Pride Ltd which operates KeCredit and Faircash mobile lending Apps.

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