Technology Times Forum: Stakeholders Call For Holistic Approach To Data Protection

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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 / 2:06 PM/ Nifemi Taiyese for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV


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Stakeholders at a recent forum organized by Technology Times Media Limited agreed that there must be a holistic approach to Data Protection and Privacy in Nigeria.


The Founder, Data Privacy and Professionals, Mrs. Adaobi Olaye, highlighted some key things for the government to consider when it comes to data protection, which includes;

  • The need for a robust approach concerning enforcement.
  • The opportunities for the public and private sector to support DCPOs in building a thriving ecosystem.
  • The need for a cohesive agreement to impact change in the data protection space.
  • Explore opportunities presented by the AFCFTA which will bridge the regional gap and foster partnerships and collaborations with other countries.


Olaye asserted that it is was the responsibility of individuals to put pressure on data processors to comply with best practices.


Mr. Olusola Teniola President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) on his part said data privacy and protection is critical for Nigerians because the possibility and incentive to hack database has increased over the years.


With over 183million subscribers in Nigeria, the country must make an effort to protect consumers, which could be achieved through precision engineering.


Teniola speaking on the issues of data jurisdictions, data sovereignty and digital rights, said the big issue in Nigeria was stakeholders working in silos when there needs to be synergy.


He made a strong case for the activities of internet protocol to be captured properly, as there is a strong need to protect citizens with governments being proactive and monitoring efficiently.


With DCPOs that are not up to speed, data becomes vulnerable, hence the need for capacity, capabilities to harness the digital protection skills.


Teniola was of the view that Nigeria needs to look inwards to develop its use cases which provide an opportunity to build an economic base for over 200million people.


"If data is not protected, it can do more harm than good, as such government needs to be more proactive and monitor efficiently," he said.

 

In his contribution, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) and CEO Internet Exchange Point said everyone uses digital devices now and as such lives are being merged online which gives hackers access to know more about individuals than they do.

 

Rudman said the need for protection is critical which is why the government is coming in and also buttressed the need for individuals to take responsibility for their digital footprints by ensuring it is protected.

 

There are several companies licensed by NITDA to be DCPOs to monitor the activities of the consumers.


Rudman called for the localization of data in Nigeria which will help minimize the global interconnection.


Dr. Adekemi Omotubora of the Department of Commercial and Industrial Law, the University of Lagos, giving her presentation focused on the legal provisions of data protection and mentioned that data protection is a relatively new area of practice of the law in Nigeria.


She noted that the data protection rules apply when an organization processes personal data, when the activities are within the material scope of the regulation and when it falls within jurisdictional scope.


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"Data protection laws are focused on personal data, in terms of the central concept of data protection, organizations will have to adjust to change. There should be fairness when organizations are processing personal data and organizations should only collect data that they need" She said.

 

According to her "if any organization processes the data in Nigeria, they are subject to data protection rules".


Giving further perspective she highlighted the benefits of data protection for businesses, when organizations comply with data protection laws, they are also complying with consumer protection. It helps with brand reputation by building trust, protection of fundamental human rights–the right to privacy and global best practices.


Mr. Olu Ogundere, MD Marier Nigeria Limited, also speaking at the forum addressed the issue of how public and private institutions could achieve data protection compliance in Nigeria. Speaking on understanding the regulation, The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on the 25th of January 2019.

 

On the scope of NDPR, he stressed that the regulation applies to natural persons residing in Nigeria or residing outside the country but of Nigerian descent. The regulation also applies to all transactions intended for the processing of personal data and to the actual processing of personal data notwithstanding how the data processing is being conducted or intended to be conducted and in respect of natural persons in Nigeria.

 

Ogundere highlighted NDPR's relationships with processors/administrators, data subjects, data controllers, NITDA and DPCOs.

 

He harped on the need for improved and increased awareness of data protection, as it projects the data subjects.

 

For him, information privacy and security have critical roles to play in data protection, privacy provides the strategy, information security provides the tactics.


Mr. Shina Badaru the Founder and CEO of Technology Times described the forum as an opportunity to explore how to deepen data protection in Nigeria.


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