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NITDA assures Nigerians of data collection privacy

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As part of containment efforts of COVID-19, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has assured Nigerians of data collection privacy according to Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) Guidelines.

This is contained in a statement made on Friday in Abuja and signed by NITDA’s Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar.

Umar said data collection by authorities at Nigeria’s borders was done putting into consideration, the rights of individual data subject to privacy, in line with the NDPR guidelines.

”As part of containment strategies, authorities at our entry ports have devised ingenious means of collecting health information from passengers arriving Nigeria.

”The processes include a lot of personal data collection, such as travel history, name, address, phone number, email, destination etc.

“The general public is aware that the world is currently faced with a pandemic called COVID-19 and global authorities have been working in concert to defeat this global threat,” she said.

She added that Nigeria had become the cynosure of all eyes for how it managed to keep this and other similar situations under check.

She added that it was expedient for NITDA to evaluate the implication of this personal data collection on the rights of data subject to privacy.

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”The NDPR’s Article 2.2 provides for the bases of processing personal data. Among the bases are: consent, legitimate interest, contractual agreement, legal, public and vital interest.

“The data processing being done by public health officials to contain the COVID-19 pandemic is covered under VITAL and PUBLIC interest of the data subjects to protect other Nigerians.

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“This position was further reinforced by the provisions of Section 45 of the Nigerian Constitution which limits the right to privacy granted in Section 37.

“In view of the foregoing, NITDA wishes to assure all Nigerians and foreigners that the strategies employed aligned with NDPR guidelines as well as the Nigerian Constitution,” she said.

She urged everyone to fully cooperate with officials who were working hard to keep Nigerians safe.

She added that NITDA remained committed to enforcing its guidelines in discharging its mandate for the development of IT in Nigeria.

According to her, NITDA will work with all parties to ensure that the data being collected is processed and stored in compliance with the NDPR.

Section 6 (a & c) of the Nigerian Information Technology Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardisation, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of information technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria.

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