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Cyber Crime: Group urges NASS to enact data protection law

Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) has urged the National Assembly to enact a law to control government or organisations from arbitrary access to personal information of the people.

President of CSEAN, Remi Afon disclosed that ‎the law became imperative to protect citizens data from cyber criminals.

He added that the country lacks professional ethics on information management of the people, as they are frequently accessed by different government agencies and private organisations such as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), commercial banks, and Telecommunications industries collecting massive personal data.

‎In a statement on Sunday in Abuja, as part of activities to celebrate World’s Data Privacy Day, Afon said the law if implemented would among others guarantee protection of personal information and ensure such information are not kept longer than necessary and not transferred outside the country without adequate protection.

‎He emphasised that South Africa made a leading example by enacting the data protection law, adding that Nigeria should follow suit.

CSEAN boss stated that these acts could lead to misuse of the information thereby causing potential abuse and threats to the citizens.

The statement reads: “In today’s world where governments and organizations face a heightened threat landscape with data breaches constantly on the rise, nothing less than an up to date, single and comprehensive enactment of data protection law can adequately match this threat.‎

“Such laws have been enacted in other parts of the world, for example South Africa recently enacted the Protection of personal Information Act 2013 after the mould of the Data Protection Act 1998 of the United Kingdom.

“A common feature of such laws are provisions which ensure that an individual’s personal data is not only collected lawfully but also used lawfully, kept securely and not circulated without due process and consent of the individual.”

He opined that the data should be used for the purpose of which they are collected and nothing more as this would set basic rules of registration for users of data.

“Consequently, Cyber Security Experts Association (CSEAN) will be observing the day by highlighting some of the data protection issues we face as a nation and how individuals can protect their personal data through social media, symposium and press releases,” he added.

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