The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has hinted that data plays critical role in a digital economy.
He made this known while participating in an on-line US-Nigeria Digital Trade standards workshop organised by the US-Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), themed: “Current state of Data privacy and security in Nigeria”, one of the activities to mark the Data privacy week which commenced on Monday 25th of January 2021.
The DG noted that data plays a huge role in everyday activity, the DG examined what data protection is, how they differ and overlap, how both are affected by digitalization and finally, what government is doing to protect and strengthen right to privacy and data protection.
According to him data protection, contrary to popular belief, is not the same thing as privacy.
He said privacy is a broad concept referring to the condition which enables basic foundation of human dignity, but data protection is more specific. It is concerned with the way third party handles the information they hold about us, how it is collected, processed, shared, stored and used.
He averred that privacy is the big picture and data protection is one corner of Abdullahi further explained how digitalization is creating new ways to collect ,accesse ,analyse and use data across multiple borders and jurisdiction, with challenges to data privacy.
On what Nigerian government is doing to protect and strengthen privacy and data protection, the DG reminded the audience that the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) issued on 25th January 2019 was crafted to meet global standard on data protection and provide unique and innovative implementation matrix. Part of the NDPR implementation strategy is sustained public awareness which was undertaken between May and October 2019.
Other measures include Establishment of Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs),Data Breach Investigation Team and Police Enforcement Teams among others.In addition, the NDPR implementation framework has also succeeded in ensuring that within a year of coming on stream, a total of 635 data audit reports were filed by various entities across 13 sectors of the Nigerian economy, just as 15 investigations on alleged data breaches were undertaken while 2686 jobs were created.
He noted that Nigeria is the first country on the African Continent to dedicate a week to Data Protection Public Awareness.