A cyber-security expert, Mr. Remi Afon, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Data Protection bill, which was passed by the 8th National Assembly in May 2019. He said the call became necessary as the world marked Data Privacy Day 2020. Afon, who is also the President of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), added that the signing of the bill has become more necessary owing to the fact that President Buhari was a victim of data privacy violation by Cambridge Analytica during the 2015 presidential elections, when the firm allegedly worked with the Israeli intelligence firm, Black Cube to acquire hacked medical and financial information about him. “As part of our advocacy as cyber-security professionals, we urge the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Data Protection bill, which we believe is on his table to commemorate this year’s Data Privacy Day,” he said.
He explained that in May 2019, the National Assembly passed the Data Protection bill and sent it to the President for assent, saying unfortunately this is yet to be signed into law.
“One would have expected the President to act swiftly in signing the bill into law,” he added.
According to him the Data Protection bill will be charged with the responsibility of the Protection of Personal Data and Data Subjects’ Rights and Regulation of the Processing of Personal Information. He said the bill, when signed into law, will see an increase in the number of Data Protection Officers in the country. It would be recalled that in today’s world of big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, where organisations are making a fortune from data mining, the benefits of the Data Protection Bill cannot be over-emphasized, he added. The bill contains strict rules called data protection principles which organisations, government and businesses must follow to keep personal data accurate, safe and secure. It also ensures that personal data are used fairly and lawfully and not kept more than necessary.