The importance of data protection and privacy in the affairs of young people in Nigeria.
By Vincent Olatunji, PhD
How important is the place of data protection and privacy in the affairs of young people in Nigeria?
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On June 12, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR signed the Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA) into law establishing a legal framework to protect individuals’ personal information, regulate personal dataprocessing n Nigeria, and address concerns regarding data security, consent, and individual rights.
The NDPA set the basis for consent as an essential component of Data Protection practice in Nigeria signifying that Consent of a child or person lacking legal capacity is still a necessity.
In this case therefore, the Act stipulates that where a data subject is a child or a person lacking the legal capacity to give consent, a data controller is required to obtain the consent of the parent or legal guardian (as applicable). “In doing this, appropriate mechanisms are required to be applied to verify age and consent, taking into consideration available technology. The presentation of any government approved identification documents suffices as an appropriate mechanism,” to also quote practitioners in the field.
The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), the body invested with the powers to implement the law, is therefore fully ready to protect and promote the rights of children under the Data Protection Act. That is why research efforts such as this effort by the Child Cyber Protection (C-C PRO – ccprong.ng) is highly commendable and would continue to enjoy the support of the NDPC.
The Challenges bedevilling data privacy management in the digital world are quite enormous. But these challenges are equally not insurmountable as indicated by the Report by C-C PRO.
Among the youth demography in Nigeria, data privacy measures that not only provide security for the use of the internet, but also secures them from the ills of the internet, are required and quite important. The findings by C-C PRO published in this body of work reveals he percentage of participants indicating that they were aware of data privacy concerns, and those who reported taking any measures to protect their personal data.
The lack of data privacy measures amongst adolescents in Nigeria may be attributed to several reasons, including a lack of awareness, low digital literacy, limited access to information, and inadequate to data protection regulations by data controllers and processors. Accordingly, all stakeholders are being encouraged to partner the NDPC in creating the requisite awareness and capacity building that would enhance compliance as a culture in order to guarantee trust and confidence in our rapidly evolving digital economy.
In conclusion, while limited studies have been conducted on data privacy measures amongst adolescents in Nigeria, the C-C PRO research highlights the need for increased awareness, education, and enforcement of data protection laws to protect young people’s sensitive information online.
These are areas the Nigeria Data Protection Commission will willingly be looking to partner with other stakeholders. Young people are not just the future of any country but the bedrock of the data industry itself.
Kudos to the C-C PRO for this research efforts.
This is the FOREWORD to the The 2023 Teen Cyber Awareness Report by Dr Vincent Olatunji, PhD, The National Commissioner/CEO, Nigeria Data Protection Commission. The 2023 Teen Cyber Awareness Report was officially unveiled at the recent Cyber Teen Fest that held in Baze University, Abuja.