Experts warn Nigerians on abuse of data privacy


Data centre

The President/Chairman Governing Council of the Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa, Dr. oyedokun Oyewole, and the chairman Data and Knowledge Information Privacy Protection Initiative(DKIPP), Tokunbo Smith, have warned general public to desist from perpetuating abuse of data privacy in the country.

This in collaboration with other experts drawn from the legal, health, religious, educational and information management and other disciplines, in commemoration of this year’s Data Privacy Day (DPD), unanimously agreed on the need for speedy passage of the Information Privacy Act lying at the the National Assembly for close to a decade.

The Data Privacy Day was made to raise awareness internationally to discuss solutions for, the growing problem of data privacy vulnerabilities.

In his keynote address at the occasion held in Lagos, Oyewole, said it is essential for business leaders and other stakeholders to understand the full risk potential of data privacy threats and how to address these issues.

He recalled that in response to the increasing levels of data breaches and the global importance of privacy and data security, in 2010 the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) and dozens of global organizations embraced Data Privacy Day as Data Privacy & Protection Day, emphasizing the need to look at the long-term impact to consumers’ data collection, use and protection practices.

The IIM-Africa’s Chairman said, “The art of technological advancement is embraced by all nations including developing countries. Today, the world has become a global village where people share information at the same time but in different parts of the world over the internet. Unfortunately, a developing country like Nigeria venture into such technology without understanding the implications and the legal frameworks under which those technologies function, considering the fast pace at which technology keeps evolving while the legal pace remains predominantly slow.

“In recent years, the number of African countries which have enacted privacy frameworks or are planning data protection laws has vastly increased. Currently, 14 African countries have privacy framework laws and some sort of data protection authorities in place”.

Meanwhile, seven African countries have data protection bills in place: Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda.

“Nigeria has two Data Protection related bills (one dated 2008 and the other 2010) yet, neither has been passed into law”, he lamented.

Speaking specifically with regards to ‘Issues, Challenges and Opportunities’ in data privacy, the keynote speaker said, “Businesses and their customers’ alike collect, store and transmit vast amounts of information electronically, and they want to believe that this information is secure. At the customer level, the concern for data privacy should stimulate laws and regulations aimed at addressing those issues including what information can be collected and maintained, how the information should be stored, how and where information can be transmitted, and required actions in the event of a security breach.

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