Breach of data privacy: Coys risk N10m fine, criminal prosecution

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has implored the general public to avail themselves with the use of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) to prevent breach of their online privacy.

Citizens now have the right to sue organisations for use of their personal data without consent.

This was said at a one-day masterclass on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) for media executives in Abuja, Thursday.

Speaking on sundry issues In the implementation of NDPR, NITDA NDPR desk officer Olufemi Daniel said 300,000 jobs would be created by the DPCO’s.

He added that the objectives of the NDPR is to safeguard data privacy, foster safe conduct of transactions involving personal data and to make Nigerian institutions globally competitive and relevant.

In case of breach, “A data controller dealing with more than 10, 000 data subjects- payment of the fine of 2% of the annual gross revenue of the preceding year or payment of the sum of 10 million naira, whichever is greater or criminal prosecution under NITDA Act.

According to NITDA director e-governance and compliance Dr Vincent Olatunji the regulation is a global thing now. However, “ we are really not after fine but to see that things are done correctly in the country; it’s not about any person, it’s about securing the country” and “to ensure that our country is not blacklisted.

According to him, Nigeria was the first in Africa to institute it’s national data protection regulation.

“So far, 11 Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCO’s) have been licenced and additional approval has been given to 16 DPCO’s.”

Data protection consultant T&Y Information Management Services Limited Tokunbo Smith said businesses need to review their data protection policies and technology to check they are compliant.

“Data breaches occur everyday. NITDA has come up with the consequences of inadequate privacy and data privacy breach. Organizations should not be shy of reaching out to DPCO or to a trusted consultant for advice to ensure they get it right.

“They must be proactive and protect the data they hold, encrypt it and always keep up to date with your security solutions.

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