Experts task National Assembly on data protection
African Academic Network on Internet Policy has requested that the National Assembly inserts the following in data protection framework or bill, “the use of personal data must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was collected, consent of the individual must be obtained prior to collecting his/her personal data; rights of the individual to seek legal remedies for misuse and or unauthorized access to his/her personal data must be guaranteed”.
This was the submission at the two day seminar/Colloquium of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy held at IITA, Ibadan recently.
The theme of the two day seminar was, ‘Privacy and Security: Building the Evidence Base and a multi-stakeholder action base for Personal Data Protection in Nigeria’. It was revealed at the seminar, that most African countries including Nigeria do not have data protection laws.
It was revealed at the panel sessions that there are five primary concerns around the collection of the use of personal data both online and offline in Nigeria, they include, the use of personal data may be incompatible with the purpose for which it was collected; individuals have no rights in relation to the collection, use and storage of their personal information; Nigerians are not offered adequate opportunities to consent to or opt out of data collection.
More so, there is limited to no transparency around the processing of personal data and there is limited information available around how this personal data is used and stored, leading to greater risk of a personal data breach; children are exposed to privacy risks online and often lack the legal capacity to give valid consent and may unknowingly disclose personal information to online platforms due to the appealing nature of their visual content.
In his opening remarks, the Executive vice chairman of ISGPP, Dr. Tunji Olaopa said that African continent is touted as fertile ground for Netpreneurs, Mobile institutions, increasing use of technology and leveraging the internet to address developmental challenges.
He added that, with the exponential increase in the use of personal information by businesses in technology age, data protection has become such a defining compelling agenda for priority attention in many countries worldwide.
Olaopa emphasized that it is high time that Africa aligns itself with this global movement by coming up with sufficiently strong and intelligent data protection policy to drive the growth of the African Digital Economy.
While giving a brief overview of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy, member of the steering committee, Dr. Temitope Aladesanmi said that the formation of the group was as a result of the poor and low level of African voices specifically to Internet Policy and governance.
He explained that the European Union General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) would come to effect May 2019 and as such, it has significant impact for some local organizations who are in business with the EU maybe required to conform with the standard.
“One of the direct output of the main conference was the imperative of the need to begin an immediate discourse with respect to data protection and security in Africa.”
According to Co-creation Hub Nigeria, Emmanuel Okochu, said that the biggest challenge in Data Protection in Nigeria is that most users do not have a detailed understanding of positive sides of data protection entails.
“The people you seek to protect are the ones who don’t understand why they should be protected. When you try to explain to people how dangerous it is to keep posting everything about them online”.
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