The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that it was partnering with relevant stakeholders to come up with a code of conduct for social media activities in Nigeria. According to NAN, this was made known by the Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, during an interactive session with journalists on Monday in Abuja, to kick-start this year’s ‘National Protection Week’.
Inuwa said the effort was to protect Nigerians from data privacy intrusion, adding that the agency was putting measures in place to impose more sanctions on data privacy violators such as Loan Applications’ platforms breaching its users’ privacy.
What the Director-General of NITDA is saying
Inuwa said, “We are going to work with key stakeholders to come up with code of conduct for social media engagements in Nigeria.’’ He explained that it was only through an effective regulatory framework Nigeria could harness the full potential of social media platform.
He said, “For instance, according to some investigative reports by some international news agencies such as CNN, Reuters, BBC and Guardian (UK), Twitter and Facebook deleted some social media accounts operating in Nigeria and Ghana because they were linked to some foreigners who were using the said accounts to manipulate the public.
“Twitter categorically stated that the accounts were attempting to sow discord by engaging in conversation about social issues. Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) prohibits this manner of atrocious intrusion and manipulation of personal data. By collaborating as vanguards of Nigerian sovereignty, government agencies are sending signals to the big data community that it is not going to be business as usual.’’
Listing the successes recorded so far in the implementation of NDPR, Inuwa said NITDA had embarked on various capacity building initiatives which resulted to the training of 5,746 Nigerians.
He said Nigeria had moved from zero data privacy audit compliance in 2018 to 635 in 2020 and over 1,230 audit compliance in 2021 with the Finance, Consultancy, ICT, Digital Media and Manufacturing ranking as top-performing sectors on data compliance.
The NITDA boss revealed that the agency in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant agencies have resolved to sanction operators of Loan-Apps that breach data privacy. He assured, “We will make sure to address that challenge in collaboration with CBN; we have sanctioned some of them and we are working with other policymakers to address this challenge.’’
What you should know
The NDPR was established to regulate those who have access to and control people’s data. Prior to the NDPR, there existed provisions in a few laws which protected certain information or data from unlawful use.3 However, unlike the NDPR, these provisions were ambiguous, inadequate, and ineffective in imposing sanctions and ensuring compliance in the event of a data breach.