On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation was enforced as the strictest and most encompassing data protection law ever to be passed. Its scope reaches far beyond the borders of the EU, in so far as it applies to all organisations and all websites globally, that process data of EU citizens.
That means that Nigerian companies that receive communications from either European companies or citizens, are not excluded from the regulation. Furthermore, the GDPR has set a high standard for data protection that is being followed as an example for other data protection authorities in the world, as they update their legislations to correspond to the demands of a digital and data-driven society.
GDPR is very much to be reckoned with, and has been adopted by national authorities, privacy activists and offended parties alike as a potent instrument to improve transparency and ensure the enforcement and respect of privacy rights. Six months later, various national data protection authorities and supervisory authorities as well as privacy activists and offended parties have taken action.
Incidentally, cases are only made public if one of the parties for some reasons chooses to do so or if convicted companies wish to gather momentum to dispute the conviction. However, there are reports that the the French supervisory authority, Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés, CNIL, has given warnings to several companies while some others, like a Portuguese hospital, have been fined. Meanwhile, an estimated 30 to 60 cases are being investigated by the data protection authorities of the different EU member-states. These developments should give every reasonable country and data managing company some concerns. Data permeates corporations as much as it does personal lives. Companies today build their digital transformation on data.
Their control, access and use of data enable them to gain insights on new markets and achieve greater efficiencies. Deploy digital competencies to solve socioeconomic problems, Data analysts have also said that the quality and veracity of data within a corporation is essential to maximize digital potential. However, for digital citizens to maintain trust in organisations they may choose to engage with, proper governance of data must be a priority. Also proper data governance is very essential for corporations to fully leverage their digital assets.
Considering the strategic position these practices occupy in any country’s economic development, technology company, Hitachi Vantara said it would gather a number of Nigerian companies in the ICT ecosystem to a sensitization programme in Lagos. The event which holds at the Federal Palace Hotels, is meant to help participating companies comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR. It is themed: General Data Protection Regulation,GDPR: Impact and compliance – the Hitach Vantara solutions. Hitachi said the event will expose participants to its local solution that can help them understand, analyse and control their data pipelines so as to comply with the GDPR guidelines The company prides itself as having local expertise and the solutions to perfectly train organisations to instantly become GDPR-compliant.
Explaining the rationale for the programme, the company’s Territory Accounts Manager, West Africa, Mrs Adenike Omojokun said it will be unwise for Hitachi being a global company that understands the laws around EU regulations, to allow Nigerian companies fall victims of non-compliance when it has all it takes to equip them. Omojokun said some of the modules of the programme will help organisations strongly face the 21st Century Tech environment. Meanwhile, the company’s Director, Data Intelligence, Manfred Gramlich, who is one of the event’s facilitators, predicts that data growth will continue for the foreseeable future, as will the sensitive nature of the information it contains.