Data privacy: Minister harps on effective regulation

Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy Dr Bosun Tijani says building a structure around regulation of data privacy and protection was important to the journey of the nation towards digitalisation.

According to him, data privacy and protection involved holding organisations accountable on how they collect and process data.

Tijani stated this at a 2-day sensitisation workshop on Data Privacy and Protection organised by the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) in Abuja on Thursday.

He the federal government will work with all the stakeholders to educate Nigerians on their rights and how they can protect their digital identity.

 “Data privacy is not just a matter of convenience, it is a fundamental human right and we should care about the data we generate and what it is being used for.

“As we embrace the digital age, it is crucial that personal and sensitive information of our citizens is maintained under the eyes of confidentiality.

“We are committed as a government to ensuring that every Nigerian can trust the digital platforms that he uses, knowing that his personal data will not be misused.

“We are taking proactive steps to strengthen our data protection framework as evident in setting up of NDPC.

“We are working with stakeholders including the National Assembly to enact robust data protection laws that are aligned with international standards,” he said.

In his remarks, the National Commissioner of NDPC, Dr Vincent Olatunji, who lamented lack of Data Protection Officers (DPOs), said the country requires over 500,000 certified DPOs because the skill is lacking.

“We have the people but the skill is lacking, there is need for us to re skill and retool.

“Another thing is the technology that will be used to drive data protection, we need indigenous solutions that can assist build data protection ecosystem,” he said.

 “In Nigeria, we have over 60 million Nigerians involved in gaming out of over 200 million people and most of these people don’t care about their data, they are vulnerable groups.

“We are working with the regulator of that sector, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission to ensure they see and understand data Protection as a major thing,” he said.