The Institute of Information Management (IIM) has asked the Senate to pass the Data Protection Bill into law in Nigeria.
IIM says that the Nigerian lawmakers should focus attention on passing the Bill into law so that violators can be brought to book.
“Nigeria has two Data Protection related bills. One dated 2008 and the other 2010. Yet, neither has been passed into law” IIM said at the Data Privacy Day (DPD) marked to raise awareness and discuss solutions for the growing problem of data privacy vulnerabilities.
Information privacy or data protection laws prohibit the disclosure or misuse of information held on private individuals says
He recalled that in response to the increasing levels of data breaches and global importance of privacy and data security, in 2010 the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) and dozens of global organizations embraced Data Privacy Day as Data Privacy and Protection Day.
“Today, the world has become a global village where people share information at the same time but in different parts of the world over the Internet. Unfortunately, a developing country like Nigeria ventures into such technology without understanding the implications and the legal frameworks under which those technologies function”, Oyewole adds.
The IIM President says technology is moving at a fast pace, while the legal pace remains predominantly slow.”
Nigerians should refrain from abusing data privacy, he adds while emphasizing the need to review the long-term impact to consumers’ data collection, use and protection practices.
“Businesses and their customers’ alike collect, store, and transmit vast amount of information electronically and they want to believe that this information is secure”, the IIM President says.
“At the customer level, the concern for data privacy should stimulate laws and regulations aimed at addressing those issues including what information can be stored, how and where information can be transmitted, and required actions in the event of a security breach.”
Oyedokun notes that, “in recent years, the number of African countries which have enacted privacy frameworks or are planning data protection laws have vastly increased. Currently, 14 African countries have privacy frameworks and some sort of data protection authorities in place. Meanwhile, seven African countries have data protection bills in place: Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda.”
IIM wants business leaders and other stakeholders to understand the full risk potential of data privacy threats and how to address these issues.