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ALDAPCON Lauds President Tinubu, says Data Protection Act will Accelerate Economic Development

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Association of Licensed Data Protection Compliance Organisations of Nigeria (ALDAPCON) has lauded President Bola Tinubu for signing the Nigeria Data Protection Bill, 2023 into law.

The Nigeria Data Protection Act, 2023 provides a legal framework for the protection of personal information, and the practice of data protection in Nigeria which ALDAPCON has aggressively championed.

The new law establishes the Nigeria Data Protection Commission and replaces the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) established by President Buhari in February 2022. Led by the National Commissioner, Dr, Vincent Olatunji, the Commission is charged with the responsibility for regulating the practice of data protection amongst others.

“We want to commend Mr. President for this progressive Act. We congratulate Nigerians and particularly note the great works put in by your agency to ensure this bill is passed,” said Chairman of ALDAPCON, Ivan Anya who recently led other members of the association including its Secretary, Aliyu Abdulaziz, and Amb. Olusegun Olugbile to the newly created Nigeria Data Protection Commission where the association met with the National Commissioner, Dr. Vincent Olatunji and other members of the Commission.

According to Anya, the Data Protection Act will help enhance the data privacy and confidentiality of Nigerians, enable effective dataflow, boost Nigeria’s steadily growing data protection industry necessitating new levels of skillsets and jobs that will impact significantly on the economy and protect the country’s data sovereignty as well as enhance GDP.

The new law will ensure better clarity in the roles of data processors and data controllers, the association stated even as it urged the Commission to increase its level of engagement with ALDAPCON with respective to the Commission’s various activities.

“We are here as stakeholders to grow the industry and as a partner of the Commission to ensure continuous engagement with you as a regulator for the overall health of the industry,” the association stated.

Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs) are licensed by the Commission and their roles include monitoring compliance with the extant data regulations and ensuring that data controllers do not breach the provisions of the Act.

Among others DPCOs offer data protection regulations compliance and breach services for data controllers and data administrators; data protection and privacy advisory services; data protection training and awareness services; data regulations contracts drafting and advisory; data protection and privacy breach remediation planning and support services; information privacy audit; data privacy breach impact assessment; data protection and privacy due diligence investigation; and outsourced data protection officer among others within the framework of the Act.

Anya also requested the Commission to readily make the signed copy of the bill available as this will be useful to ALDAPCON members who would be carrying out comparative analysis as well as development of white papers.

“Now that, there is a statute to guide all activities around data privacy and data protection in Nigeria”, ALDAPCON urged for a more robust collaboration between the regulator and operators in a way that will better benefit the country in areas that include awareness creation and training which the law empowers DPCOs to do.

The National Commissioner in response applauded ALDAPCON for its steady growth as an association and its increasing relevance in the industry. He encouraged the DPCOs to take the Code of Practice serious and render quality service to their clients.

He agreed with the association on the need for strong awareness around issues of data protection and urged DPCOs to leverage the media to build a strong industry voice even as he assured that the Commission will to provide a copy of the signed Bill after necessary gazette is complete.

Also, Dr. Olatunji while assuring the DPCOs of the Commission’s support urged them to employ quality staff to enhance the growth of their respective companies and be strategic in building strong network amongst themselves.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Subscribers Decry Poor Service Delivery by Telcos, Accuse NCC of Playing the Ostrich

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Telecommunications subscribers have waxed angrily at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for pretending that everything was fine while subscribers grapple with unreliable internet and call services.

Subscribers Decry Poor Service Delivery by Telcos, Accuse NCC of Playing the Ostrich

They want the regulator could do more by compelling Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), also known as telcos, to improve their service.

Some of the major complaints are connection failures, poor data service, fluctuating network, data roll over challenges, illegal credit deductions and uncompleted calls.

Experts said that the drop in service quality has been attributed to the fact that three out of the four mobile network operators failed to meet the industry standards for network service.

In separate calls; Association of Telephone, CableTv, and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS-Nigeria) and National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOM) urged the NCC to live up to its responsibility of protecting subscribers.

Sina Bilesanmi, president, ATCIS-Nigeria, accused the NCC of pretending that everything was fine while subscribers groaned.

He said that ATCIS-Nigeria members have not only complained about drop calls and inability to originate calls, but they are also unable to access their airtime balance after recharging.

Bilesanmi argued that now that service quality has nosedived, there was no ground for telcos to justify any demand for a tariff increase.

He said that “ I have been inundated with complaints about low service quality from my members.

“ It is worrisome and the NCC is pretending that all is well. This low service quality is coming at a time when the MNOs are asking for a hike in tariff and our members were beginning to show understanding because, quite frankly, the tariff has remained the same for over a decade.

“The operators should tell us if they have any challenges.”

Elsewhere, Deolu Ogunbanjo, national president, NATCOM, said the service rendered by the MNOs had become  ‘’so bad’ that subscribers now lament openly.

He added that the telcos, on their part,   complained about their constraints to expand capacity.”

He said: “It(service delivery) has been so bad. It was one of the issues raised last Thursday but the telcos complained about their constraint to expand capacity and the need to raise tariff.”

Ogunbanjo said he supported the demand for an increase in tariff because it was overdue.

He, however, said an increase must be marginal in order not to asphyxiate the industry.

 

 


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Meta Disagrees with $220m Fine, Sets for Appeal

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Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp and Facebook, is preparing to appeal a decision by Nigerian regulators to impose a $220 million fine against it for alleged market power abuse and privacy violations.

Meta Disagrees with $220m Fine, Sets for Appeal

The company said that “We disagree with this decision as well as the fine and we are appealing the decision,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not specify where and when the appeal will be lodged.

It will be recalled that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) published the fine last week, capping a three-year investigation.

The inquiry focused on data sharing practices on WhatsApp, the most widely used messaging service in Nigeria.

The commission claimed it found evidence of “multiple and repeated, as well as continuing infringements” of the country’s data protection and competition laws and imposed the fine as a final resolution.

Meta was ordered to “immediately reinstate the rights of Nigerian users to self-determine and control” data sharing, and stop sharing WhatsApp users’ information “with other Facebook companies and third parties” without users’ active consent.

It was also required to pay $35,000 to cover the cost of the commission’s investigation, in addition to the $220 million penalty. Both amounts are to be paid within 60 days from July 18.

Nigeria began looking into WhatsApp, which has an estimated 51 million users in the country, in May 2021.

That was four months after the app updated its global privacy policy on messaging between individuals and businesses, and how users’ data may be shared with Facebook.

Meta began responding to concerns detailed in Nigeria’s report around March this year, pledging to cooperate towards “reaching an amicable resolution,” according to the commission.

A “remedy package” proposed by Meta and sent mid-April proved unsatisfactory to the commission, however, its report said.

It is not clear what this package is — an email for comment to the commission was not responded to. Nigeria still expects Meta to implement it and publish it on WhatsApp’s website within two weeks, in addition to the fines.

Beyond complying with its laws, Nigeria’s aim with the penalties is to get Meta to “cease the exploitation of consumers and their market abuse,” the commission said.

 

 


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WATRA Says Digital Economy Contributes $30Bn Annually to W/African GDP

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The West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) has said that the digital economy currently contributes around $30 billion annually to the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

WATRA Says Digital Economy Contributes $30Bn Annually to W/African GDP

WATRA also called for lower cost of internet access to enhance the digital economy for the respective countries in the region.

Mr Aliyu Aboki, executive secretary, WATRA, who disclosed this during a virtual press conference at the weekend also said the West African telecommunications market is now valued at $63.17 billion with over 400 million mobile subscribers.

However, Aboki said WATRS is working on initiatives to facilitate infrastructure sharing among West African countries to lower the cost of internet for telecom subscribers across the region.

According to him, infrastructure such as gateways, and data centres are facilities that could be shared by countries in the region.

Admitting that the cost of internet across West African countries is still high, Aboki said a lower cost of internet access would enhance the digital economy for the respective countries in the region and increase the consumption of data by the citizens, which in turn generate more revenue for the telecom operators.

“We are exploring regional initiatives to share infrastructure and reduce cost. For example, we have infrastructures like gateways, data center servers, and so on. These are infrastructures that can be shared and used by different countries without necessarily having everyone building the same infrastructure.

“So, we are collectively looking at these rich regional initiatives that enable us to share infrastructure to bring down the cost of Internet ultimately,” the WATRA scribe said.

 

 


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