By Emmanuel Elebeke
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has assured its commitment to the alignment of COVID-19 Data Collection Strategies with NDPR Guidelines.
The agency in a statement signed by Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, said the data collection strategy employed by authorities at Nigeria’s borders and its implication on the rights of data subjects to privacy, is in line with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
As part of containment strategies, Mrs. Umar said that authorities at our entry ports have devised ingenious means of collecting health information from passengers arriving in Nigeria.
She listed their processes to include a lot of personal data collection, such as travel history, name, address, phone number, email, destination, etc.
The statement reads part: “The attention of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is drawn to the data collection strategy employed by authorities at Nigeria’s borders and its implication on the rights of data subjects to privacy, in line with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
“The general public is aware that the world is currently faced with a pandemic called COVID-19 and global authorities have been working in concert to defeat this global threat.
“Nigeria is one of the countries that has become the cynosure of all eyes for how it has managed to keep this and other similar situations under check.
“It is therefore expedient to evaluate the implication of this personal data collection on the rights of data subjects to privacy.”
NDPR Article 2.2 provides for the basis of processing personal data. Among the bases are – consent, legitimate interest, contractual agreement, legal, public and vital interest.
According to the agency, the data processing is done by public health officials to contain the COVID-19 pandemic is covered under the VITAL and PUBLIC interest of the data subject and other Nigerians.
This position it said is further reinforced by the provisions of Section 45 of the Nigerian Constitution which limits the right to privacy granted in Section 37.
NITDA, therefore, assured all Nigerians and foreigners that the strategies employed to align with NDPR guidelines as well as the Nigerian Constitution and therefore urged all to fully cooperate with officials who are working hard to keep us safe.
“The Agency remains resolutely committed to enforcing its guidelines and in discharging its mandate for the development of IT in Nigeria. It would, therefore, work with all parties to ensure that the data being collected is processed and stored in compliance with the NDPR.”
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.