The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has urged citizens to ensure they protect their data to avoid breach and misuse of their personal information on platforms they never subscribed to.
Dr Vincent Olatunji, Director, e-Governance and Regulations Department of NITDA, gave the advice on Thursday during a one-day Media Masterclass on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in Abuja.
Olatunji recalled that the NDPR was established in January 2019 to safeguard the rights to data privacy and foster safe conduct of transactions involving the exchange of personal data, among other provisions.
According to Olatunji, the role of the government is to ensure that the regulation on data protection is put in place and to ensure the implementation and compliance by relevant institutions.
He, however, said that more responsibility is on the individual that had the information of self protection.
“Technology has changed the way we collect customer information. Today, businesses store their customer information in multiple systems and spreadsheet.
“With the introduction of NDPR, this approach will ensure the need to keep all data NDPR compliant a challenge.
“The more systems you have data stored in, the greater the possibility of errors and the more time it will require to keep your data clean,’’ he said.
He added that the government was more concerned in ensuring implementation and compliance on the NDPR than sanctioning any institution.
According to him, it will be more beneficial to the country for compliance without rift because Nigeria is still a developing economy that desires to repose confidence of citizens and the international community on the systems of government.
He called on the media to ensure they understand the benefits of NDPR, to inform the public better on its requirements.
Mr Tokunbo Smith, the Consultant to NITDA on NDPR, said privacy needed to be designed into systems and processes while respect for data subject rights needed to be enhanced.
Smith added that operators of businesses needed to review their data protection policies and technology to check they are compliant.
He warned that businesses must be proactive and protect the data they had, encrypt them and always be updated with security solutions.
Mr Olufemi Daniel, Desk Officer of NITDA on NDPR, said the regulation was not established to indict businesses but to ensure smooth operation and protection of citizens.