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NDPC warns Nigerians of exposing info online

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By Abraham Adekunle

Agency DG says individuals face risk of possible danger.

Vincent Olatunji, the director-general of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), has warned Nigerians against uploading and exposing their personal information on the internet as doing so exposes an individual to possible danger. The NDPC boss was speaking at the closing ceremony of a summer training program, which was organized by the Teen Ambassador Foundation in collaboration with Net Access Communication Ltd in Abuja. The summer training, which began on July 24 and ended on September 2, 2023, was targeted at training teenagers and youth on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education with robotics.

Represented by the head of legal enforcement and regulation of the commission, Babatunde Bamigboye, the director-general said that Nigerians should be wary of putting all their data on the internet in order to keep people from knowing everything about them. At this time and age, social media platforms are known for how people come to tell their personal stories. In the Nigerian internet space, content creators have even created a niche for it, earning them a great followership that brings endorsement and ad sponsorship.

Curriculum should contain data protection training.

Speaking at the event, Olatunji said that the commission protects data, and most of what developers need to build applications depends on data. So, users must protect their personal information when they go online. He said that it was important that this forms part of our curriculum as teachers of children because they are now exposed to what adults are exposed to. Children as young as 13 years old now have accounts on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter).

He commended TAF for organizing such a program to keep the children busy during the holiday while assuring the teenagers that 20 years from now they would remember the day and thank the organizer. He said that the world of ICT, especially this robotic artificial intelligence, is the world of the new oil where everyone is going towards. “Now you have better opportunities than Bill Gates,” he told them. In recent years, there has been a surge in the interest in ICT niches, such as data security, data analysis, software development, etc.

DG of TAF urges FG to invest more on ICT for teenagers.

Meanwhile, the director-general of Teen Ambassador Foundation (TAF), Paul Adiwu, called on the Federal Government to invest more on Information and Communications Technology for teenagers. He said that even though the center was not a training institute, it has a passion for developing the potential of teenagers in the country and exposing them to science technology engineering, mathematics, and robotics by employing experts to engage them. Also speaking, the member representing Jos North, Bassa Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Honorable Avia Agah, commended the director-general of TAF for the initiative. He said that he was overwhelmed and happy. “You have chosen humanity at a time when the country is grappling with so many challenges, you have chosen to keep our children in this endeavor,” he said.

In the same vein, the NDPC revealed that it has started probing some banks, an insurance company, a private university and other organizations for any data breaches. Olatunji said that the commission had been bombarded with complaints about data breaches. The complaints bothered on unlawful data processing, unauthorized access to personal data, and violation of data subjects’ rights. In his words, under part 10 of the newly-signed NDPA Act 2023, a data controller with a turnover of N200 billion yearly may pay as high as N2 billion, which represents two percent of the gross revenue. Offenders also risk up to a one-year jail term.

A number of banks are being investigated by NDPC.

According to him, the commission is currently investigating Guarantee Trust Bank, Fidelity, Unity, Zenith banks, Leadway Insurance and Babcock University, among others, for data breach. The director-general also said that many microfinance banks are yet to align their operations with the requirements of data privacy and protection. He also said loan organizations would face the law with the new mandate of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) which requires lending firms to seek compliance and clearance from NDPC before approving online lenders.

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NDPC: Website

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