The federal government has assured that it will not breach data privacy of any Nigerian or resident of the country because it can compromise national security.
It also warned Nigerians against excessive exposure to different applications on their phones, saying a lot of international organisations are exploiting and extorting citizens of their hard-earned money through applications that are fully commercialised and without the users’ knowledge and approvals.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend, said the Nigerian Data Protection Bureau was established to protect the citizens from such exploitation and to warn of dangers inherent in excessive exposures to some applications.
“The citizens should know that by the usage of some applications, they now know you more than you know yourself,” he warned.
The minister said the government had taken proactive measures through various legislations to protect citizens’ data and ensure their rights were not compromised as the volume of data being generated in cyberspace was becoming humongous every day.
Pantami warned that citizens’ data breaches could compromise national security, adding that Nigeria’s value for the data protection industry had hit N5.5 billion.
The National Commissioner for the Data Protection Bureau, Dr Vincent Olatunji, said the bureau had been creating awareness amongst Nigerians and industry stakeholders for data privacy and protection.
He lamented the lukewarm attitude of the public sector in terms of awareness on data protection and privacy but expressed confidence that with the intervention of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Service of the Federation, the public sector would key quickly into the drive.