NITDA probes banks, telcos, others over alleged data breaches

The National Information Technology Development Agency says it is probing some telecommunications companies, banks, financial technology companies and others for allegedly breaching the data security of their customers.

In a statement signed by Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ibrahim, and made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, Ibrahim also disclosed that the Nigeria Immigration Service was also being investigated.

He said that the IT development agency had in January issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation in the bid to stem the tide of wanton abuse of data privacy and warned that any entity found to be in breach of the regulation would be sanctioned.

He said, “The management of the National Information Technology Development Agency will like to bring to the notice of the general public the on-going investigation of alleged breach of the data privacy rights of Nigerians by some data controllers.

“NITDA is currently investigating some entities including banks, fintechs, telcos, etc, who are in alleged breach of the NDPR.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service is also under investigation for alleged violation of Article 2.1(2,3) of the NDPR.

“We therefore wish to assure all Nigerians that NITDA is willing, able and ready to implement the NDPR with the ultimate aim of ensuring compliance and making businesses and government work better for every Nigerian.”

The NITDA boss said that the issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation on January 25 was aimed at stemming the tide of wanton abuse of data privacy, improving the global image of the Nigerian business environment and to stimulate a data economy, which would lead to the creation of 300,000 jobs by 2022.

He added, “In an effort to sensitise the general public and create the requisite awareness on the NDPR, series of publications were made in electronic, print and new media.

“The agency has also written articles, made paper presentations and facilitated public and privately organised forums for the purpose of deepening compliance with the NDPR.

“We are happy to say that Nigerians and non-Nigerians have taken note of the NDPR as evidenced by over 400 phone calls and numerous email enquiries being received and treated daily.”

Ibrahim added that the agency had gone further to prepare a detailed draft of Data Protection Implementation Framework and made available on the agency’s website, www.nitda.gov.ng, for inputs from the general public.

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