The Federal Government has said that data privacy and protection awareness for digital technologies users are key to tackling pervasive internet fraud and cyber insecurity.
National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the newly created Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, said this on Thursday in Abuja at a round-table discussion on data privacy and protection in Nigeria.
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The round-table titled, “Assessing Digital Rights, Data Protection and Privacy in Nigeria”, was organized by the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), in conjunction with Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC).
Olatunji said that his agency was established by the federal government to address the challenges of data breaches, insecurity in the cyberspace through adequate awareness on digital rights, data protection across the country, especially in a world saturated with criminality and negative vices.
“When we go online there is need to ensure that whatever information you put online is been protected. Your privacy, right and freedom should be protected online. When you tell people to embrace digital technologies you must put in place regulations to protect them. This is why in 2019 the National Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was established,” he said.
He said that the NDPB will be in the forefront to create awareness on data privacy, freedom and implementation of sanctions on defaulters.
He said, “The trend globally, it is important that any country operating in the digital space to have a full-fledged agency to regulate the space and implement data privacy, protection. Since we have started with the regulation, we hope to have the law that will make it an act of parliament to adequately protect Nigerians.”
On the issue of loan sharks and individual data breaches, he said that the Federal Government is collaborating with stakeholders to put a finally stop to the matter through thorough regulations.
Speaking earlier, the CEO, PPDC, Nkem Ilo, urged the Federal Government to collaborate with stakeholders on the creation of awareness on digital rights, data privacy and digital parenting.
She said that it is in the interest of the country to work on centrality of digital rights, data protection and digital parenting in modern day society.
Ilo said that technologies users should be conscious of personal data disclosure while online in order to avoid data breaches.
She said, “Now is the time to focus on educating citizens. We have the National Orientation Agency (NOA) whose purpose is to educate, orient. We need those kinds of agencies to begin to us about what we should be aware of when signing documents. What will even constitute a violation of my right to protection, of my right to privacy. What will constitute that and when that has been violated where should I go to?”
She said that the Federal Government should be more proactive in educating children about data privacy, digital rights by infusing it in schools’ curriculum.
“We need more of government taking onboard that school curriculum to begin to teach our children just the way our children know offhand that they are going to study mathematics, that they know they have to pass their English, they also need to be aware of what their online safety is and that is one thing we have also taken onboard,” she said.