Data Ethics and Kenya National Examination Results Release Strategies: A Constitutional Moral Imperative on Personal Protections

Christine Mwongeli Mutuku


This paper assesses the ethical conduct of public officials in Kenya’s education sector with respect to how they engage in the public release of personal data. This is analyzed in the practice of public announcement of national examination results with all the identifiers in place. While addressing the broader interest in ethics in the handling and usage of personal data, this article uses content analysis method to review industry, academic and other literature on examination results release practices in Kenya. The discussion applies the Data Protection Act and the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, to review the examination results release practices in the Ministry of Education (MoE) and by teachers across the country. The discussion applies several ethical theories to draw recommendations that can inform public officials and the concerned institutions on ethical decision-making processes in the release of personal data. Both the deontological and utilitarian approaches are found to be viable for concerned authorities and actors to reach ethical decisions and actions.

Key Words: Data; Ethics; KCPE Exam; KCSE Exam; Ethical Theories; Kenya National Examination Results; the Constitution of Kenya; Data protection act; Education

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