By Juliet Umeh
CEO of Data Services Protection Limited, DSPL, Mr. Tunde Balogun has advised Nigerians to protect their personal data from falling into wrong hands else they could be used to commit crimes and other online atrocities.
Balogun, who is also the convener of the Association of Licensed Data Protection Compliance Organisations of Nigeria, ALDPCON, harped on the need for the public and private sectors to ensure that data in their possessions are secured. He stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria is aware of the need to protect the data of Nigerians and so put facilities in place to ensure compliance with this directive.
According to him, the FG through the National Information Technology Agency, NITDA, has been going about sensitising ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, state governments and the private sector on the need to comply with data protection.
Conscious of the concerns around privacy and protection of personal data and the grave consequences of leaving personal data processing unregulated, the NITDA in 2019 issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR). Nigeria’s principal data protection legislation is the NDPR issued by the NITDA on 25 January 2019 pursuant to Section 32 of the NITDA Act 2007 as subsidiary legislation to the NITDA Act 2007.
According to Balogun, “the good thing is that some of our people are beginning to understand why data must be protected in all ramifications. A good example is the government of Oyo State where we are currently implementing data protection services for about eight ministries, departments and agencies as part of the first phase of the scheme.
“It is still going to all other ministries but we started with these eight MDAs because they handle more data than most other MDAs and it even goes beyond mere putting facilities in place to enforce compliance with data protection.
“This is where we are shoulder high than other DCOs. Many people think data protection is only about data auditing but it goes beyond that because we provide other deliverables. In our case, we do auditing, we train staff, organise lectures, we ensure full privacy and arrange workshops to drive home the point,” he explained.
He stated that data collection is the most resourceful enterprise in the world and that most successful companies in the world are not in the oil & gas, banking or insurance but in the collection of data.
He said this was why government is insisting on protection of data of Nigerians in both public and private sectors of the country.
Balogun said data protection is part of the larger layers of strategies being in place by governments all over the world to checkmate cybercrimes, which he said had attracted the concern of well-meaning human beings.