Impacts of New Data Protection Law in Nigeria.

  1. A Nigeria Data Protection Commission headed by a National Commissioner will be formed
  2. This commissioner will serve a four-year term which is renewable only once. A Governing Council will also be formed.
  3. It creates a legal backing for how data is collected, mined and used by all data collectors.
  4. It also puts legal responsibilities on the collector of data to inform the data subject where their address is, their identity, how long they want to keep the data, who will receive or come in contact with the data among others. In essence, faceless organizations cannot just request and use your data without your knowledge.
  5. Your consent is also required for your data to be used by any data collector. And the data collector must establish beyond reasonable doubt proof that you (the data subject) gave consent to use your data. You can also withdraw your consent for use of your data..This means, companies both virtual (Facebook etc) and physical (HMOs, Hospitals, Banks etc) cannot use your data and sell to advertisers etc.
  6. A data controller must inform the Commission if a data breach occurs. For instance, banks, hospitals and other institutions that collate customer data MUST report any data breaches, loss, leaks or server incidents that lead loss of customer data. E.g. Recently Globus bank lost N1.5bn to hackers via her USSD platform. Till date, they haven’t informed the public the customers involved and what other data of theirs was taken in the hack. This law put pays to that.
  7. It also puts a mandatory requirement for any data controller to put proper data protection systems in place and carry out data impact assessment where there is a high risk to the rights and freedoms of a data subject.
  8. It also provides that any legitimate interest pursued by a data controller (e.g. Bank) will not be considered a lawful basis if it violates your fundamental rights or freedoms. In essence, a HMO cannot share your willfully offered data on health status without your consent as it could run foul of your fundamental right to privacy.

© Kingsley Nwabugwu

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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