An Information technology expert, Mr Davies Bamigboye, has expressed concern over inadequate data protection laws in Nigeria.
Bamigboye, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Concepts world Academy, based in the UK, expressed the worry in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
He criticised the situaction where there was easy access to data banks that belonged to Nigerians by different organisations.
He commended the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for taking a bold step in constituting the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
Bamigboye noted that sensitisation and enforcement had not been adequately done on the regulation.
He said that with the delay in implementing the data protection regulation, public and private institutions would continue to process Nigerian citizens data through third parties, especially outside of the country.
“”Children’s data, for example, pictures, will continue to be used to support advertisements that aim to seek aids from foreign countries by NGOs.
““There is no need to believe that such NGOs seek approval from Nigerian regulators before using these pictures.
“”Even, if the NGO had wanted to seek permission, there is no designated body in Nigeria which can serve as the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) that such requests should be directed to.
““The current monitoring of Nigerians by other nation states and large organisations will continue to go unchecked,’’ he added.
Bamigboye, said that the inability to enforce the NDPR meant that legitimate organisations and criminal gangs could continue to target Nigeria with the sole purpose of obtaining information for criminal or discriminatory purpose.
“Without clear breach notification and process of seeking redress, when a breach occurs or indeed a crime is initiated, the lack of effective NDPR coupled with a judicial officer with limited cyber awareness capabilities makes it hard to prosecute alleged offenders.”
He said that the lack of data protection would further erode business confidence in Nigeria.
“The need to be able to prosecute and fine foreign companies sit on the top list of what needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
“If you compare Nigeria to other countries with effective data protection regulation, foreign companies are careful to exploit the privacy of their citizens,” Bamigboye said.
The IT expert advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to harness the opportunities in the data management industry which he described as ““trillion-dollar industry’’.
““As the saying goes, data is the new gold and Nigeria can ride the wave of the data economy by coming to grips with the importance of data.