Titilola Akinlade: IT practitioner canvasses enactment of data privacy, protection law

Data Privacy and Data Protection

Akinlade made the appeal while discussing on the theme: “Regulating Data Protection in Nigeria’’ at a Public Lecture on Data Privacy in Lagos.

An Information Technology  practitioner, Dr Titilola Akinlade, on Tuesday canvassed the need for the Federal Government to formulate a law on Data Privacy and Data Protection.

Akinlade made the appeal while discussing on the theme: “Regulating Data Protection in Nigeria’’ at a Public Lecture on Data Privacy in Lagos.

We are in a digital age and it has its attendant cyber-security challenges and so people should be wary of what they dish outside to the whole world.

“There is no specific law that guarantees data privacy and protection in Nigeria; what exist are some government institutions having laws that will safeguard their activities.

“As a matter of urgency, government should commence the process of drafting a comprehensive data privacy and data protection law in Nigeria to pass as a constitutional amendment,’’ she said.

The practitioner, however, defined data protection as a process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise while data privacy as the relationship between the collection and dissemination of data.

Akinlade, also a fellow of Computer Science, University of Lagos, described data privacy as an inalienable right of everyone, “a fundamental right that needs to be upheld’’.

She said in putting up the draft law, government should identify and seek imputes from the right stakeholders in the industry.

The practitioner said some of the existing provisions for some government establishments should be harmonised and made available in the law.

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has for the telecommunications industry the Consumer Code of Practice Regulation, 2007, SIM Card Registration Regulation 2010 and amended in 2011.

“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has a draft guideline on Data Protection in 2013 but does not have the force of the law.

“There is also the Child Rights Act of 2003 and the Freedom of Information Act, which are laws on their own.

“All these government provisions exist to aid the establishments workings but it is needed to enable the country to be at par with what exists in other clime,’’ she said.

Akinlade urged organisations to have a good data classification as it would determine what basic security control would be appropriate for the organisation.

She advised individuals to take responsibility of safeguarding their privacy and understand what was required as private,  especially on social media.

Earlier, the President, Data and Knowledge Information Privacy Protection Initiative (DKIPPI), Mr Tokunbo Smith  also stressed the need for government to come up with a data policy and privacy.

Smith said that if put in place, the policy would help in regulating the use and application of data sharing.

Transparency will be ensured and this will lead to accountability in all that one does,’’ he said.

He said DKIPPI would also be training 250 people and youths this year on data privacy to create awareness and aid the spread of data privacy at grassroots.

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