Social media and its effects on personality rights: the case for a defined legal framework on personality rights in Kenya
Nicole, June Wafula
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Personality rights encompass the right of an individual to control the commercial use of their name, image, likeness or other unequivocal aspects of one's identity. Kenya does not have a defined legislative framework on personality rights and individuals are accorded protection by the constitutionally guaranteed right of privacy and copyright laws. The need for a defined legislative framework is continues to grow, due to the proliferation of data and internet use in Kenya which has eased access to social media platforms. Social media platforms have eased access to and sharing of material that could potentially infringe an individual's personality rights. This research employs the descriptive research design where literature from academic journals, textbooks and reports is studied. The dissertation explores the concept of personality tights at length by detailing the origins of the right and how personality rights are protected in other jurisdictions with an aim of identifying key provisions which Kenya should borrow should government decide to enact legislation on personality tights. The research also links the concept of personality rights to social media so as to show that the rights are relevant in this era of increased internet use. Specific online abuses relating to personality rights are discussed, revealing that the internet poses unique challenges to the application of personality rights. The current legal regime in Kenya with regard to digital rights and social media law is discussed and it is found that that the proliferation of internet use in Kenya is not met by a corresponding increase in regulation of internet use, whether through law or policy. The research concludes by finding that a defined legislative framework on personality rights is relevant in the Kenyan context, and suggesting that regulation through policy could be an equally viable method of legally providing for personality rights.