Fed Govt investigates 17 cases of data violations against banks, hospitals, schools, others

According to the Federal Government, the Nigerian Data Protection Commission (NDPC), one of its agencies, is looking into 17 major cases of data breaches and violations.

In an address to reporters yesterday at the Continental Hotels in Abuja, the commission’s National Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, made this announcement in connection with events honouring this year’s Data Protection Week, which has the theme: Take Control of Your Data.

Olatunji stated that the investigation would encompass financial institutions (banks), technology, education, consultancy, lottery and gaming services, as well as logistics services, among other areas, even though he did not disclose specifics about the investigation.

He claims that corporate bodies and concerned citizens filed over 1,000 complaints regarding data violations.

While 50 of the cases had been confirmed, the boss of the NDPC stated that 17 more were still being looked into.

In order to protect the integrity of Nigeria’s data industry and to guarantee that industry standards are followed, he said that the government will impose sanctions on people and corporate bodies found to be responsible for the breaches.

Olatunji added that there were more than 220 million data subjects in Nigeria and emphasised that, given the volume of activity in the sector, the nation could not afford to put them at risk.

He said: “With over 220 million data subjects, Nigeria has made significant progress in data exploration. However, unlike the crude oil mined onshore and offshore, data, its volume, value, veracity, velocity, and variety are derived through our individual activities as well as inactivity.

“This obviously poses a grave risk of abusive exploitation, assault to privacy and the dignity of human person and, ultimately, it may put the entire nation in peril, if we fail to regulate this value chain.

“Considering the impact on over 8 billion people across the globe and the digital economy, which is estimated at about 15 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the world cannot afford to let the data value chain grind down to an avoidable disaster.”