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Experts task NASS on Legal Framework for Data Protection

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African Academic Network on Internet Policy has requested that the National Assembly inserts the following in data protection framework or bill, “the use of personal data must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was collected, consent of the individual must be obtained prior to collecting his/her personal data; rights of the individual to seek legal remedies for misuse and or unauthorized access to his/her personal data must be guaranteed”.

This was the submission at the two day seminar/Colloquium of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy held at IITA, Ibadan recently.

The theme of the two day seminar was, ‘Privacy and Security: Building the Evidence Base and a multi-stakeholder action base for Personal Data Protection in Nigeria’. It was revealed at the seminar, that most African countries including Nigeria do not have data protection laws.

It was revealed at the panel sessions that there are five primary concerns around the collection of the use of personal data both online and offline in Nigeria, they include, the use of personal data may be incompatible with the purpose for which it was collected; individuals have no rights in relation to the collection, use and storage of their personal information; Nigerians are not offered adequate opportunities to consent to or opt out of data collection.

More so, there is limited to no transparency around the processing of personal data and there is limited information available around how this personal data is used and stored, leading to greater risk of a personal data breach; children are exposed to privacy risks online and often lack the legal capacity to give valid consent and may unknowingly disclose personal information to online platforms due to the appealing nature of their visual content.

In his opening remarks, the Executive vice chairman of ISGPP, Dr. Tunji Olaopa said that African continent is touted as fertile ground for Netpreneurs, Mobile institutions, increasing use of technology and leveraging the internet to address developmental challenges.

He added that, with the exponential increase in the use of personal information by businesses in technology age, data protection has become such a defining compelling agenda for priority attention in many countries worldwide.

Olaopa emphasized that it is high time that Africa aligns itself with this global movement by coming up with sufficiently strong and intelligent data protection policy to drive the growth of the African Digital Economy.

While giving a brief overview of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy, member of the steering committee, Dr. Temitope Aladesanmi said that the formation of the group was as a result of the poor and low level of African voices specifically to Internet Policy and governance.

He explained that the European Union General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) would come to effect May 2019 and as such, it has significant impact for some local organizations who are in business with the EU maybe required to conform with the standard.

“One of the direct output of the main conference was the imperative of the need to begin an immediate discourse with respect to data protection and security in Africa.”

According to Co-creation Hub Nigeria, Emmanuel Okochu, said that the biggest challenge in Data Protection in Nigeria is that most users do not have a detailed understanding of positive sides of data protection entails.

“The people you seek to protect are the ones who don’t understand why they should be protected. When you try to explain to people how dangerous it is to keep posting every thing about them online”.

Several representatives came from other African including, Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Ghana, Code voir to mention a few.

According to Tope Ogundipe of Paradigm Initiative, “it is dangerous to exist in an environment where you don’t know how your information is used. It is possible you are put under surveillance without any legal framework”.

Dr. shyllon suggested that targeted national interventions and advocacy should be dependent on accessibility to ongoing or future national processes for the development of laws and policies on the protection of personal information.

Interventions could involve technical guidance for states to ensure proposed laws adopt a balanced approached with human rights consideration, assistance with amendment of laws and policies or addressing implementation challenges”.

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CSEAN Asks Buhari to Assent Electronic Transaction Bill

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Cyber Security Expert Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) has called on President, Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electronic Transaction bill, which has been passed by the Senate in May last year.

 

The cyber security advocacy group, said that assenting to the bill becomes very crucial at the moment, when cyber criminals are becoming very daring, innovative and are seen destroying economies with just a click of the mouse.

 

The Electronic Transaction Bill is a bill that provides for the validity of contracts expressed in electronic forms, matters relating to evidence, security of online transactions, electronic signatures, disclosure of information, protection of personal data, and protecting the rights of consumers.

 

Mr. Remi Afon, president of CSEAN, explained that the bill, which has been sitting on the President’s desk for some time now, will protect Nigerians in their financial transactions when finally signed into law.

 

Apart from protecting the majority of Nigerians in their financial dealings, the bill will also protect the banks and their infrastructure, as they can leverage it to prosecute cases and make claims. He said the time has come when the government would show great seriousness in ensuring that Nigerians are protected in their financial transactions

 

He said: “As an advocacy group, we are calling on the President to assent to the Electronic Transaction Bill, as it will provide a legal and regulatory framework for conducting transactions using electronic or related media, and for the protection of the rights of consumers including the facilitation of electronic commerce in Nigeria.”

 

Wondering why a bill that seeks to protect the citizens against criminals is delayed, Afon argued that Nigeria is so lackadaisical when it comes to the issues of cyber security.

 

He added that Nigerians always wait for an incident to happen before they can take action.

 

“The government really needs to hold the bull by the horn. Everybody, including the banks is feeling the impact of cybercrime, but the government has not really taken steps to secure the country’s cyber space,” he said

 

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MainOne, Orange Deal Targets Cable Extension into Francophone West Africa

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MainOne partnership with French Telecoms company, Orange will see the French telecoms giant co-invest in two new cable landing stations in Dakar, Senegal and Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire while the broadband infrastructure provider will provide additional capacity via its 7000km cable system from Europe to Africa with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal, reinforcing the position of both companies in the African telecommunications ecosystem.

Thanks to this new cable connection, several countries in West Africa will benefit from better connectivity, lower prices and access to new services.

Orange will benefit from multiple Terabits per second of additional bandwidth for the development of fixed and mobile data in Africa to meet the increasing demands for Internet access via 3G and 4G network.

More specifically, this cable extension is an opportunity to improve connectivity and offer a broader range of services for both Orange Côte d’Ivoire & Senegal’s Sonatel.

In addition, neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania will benefit from enhanced capacity.

For MainOne, the partnership underscores the company’s vision for a better connected region, its Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke says “MainOne continues to lead the digital transformation of our sub-region by investing in affordable connectivity to drive economic development.

“Our objective is to bridge the digital divide between and within West Africa and the rest of the world.

“We are committed to deepening broadband penetration across West Africa and believe our investments in technologically advanced subsea infrastructure will continue to liberalize the international bandwidth market, further support Orange and other wholesale customers, and ultimately result in improved digital services in the region”.

Speaking on the strategic deal, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa, Alioune Ndiaye says “The development of new digital services in Africa has fostered huge social and economic developments over the past few years.

As barriers to access continue to fall with improved networks and more affordable equipment, Orange, as part of its multi – service strategy, is seeking to position itself as an important partner in the continent’s digital transformation through this new partnership, Orange is set to secure and improve direct access to high – speed broadband services in two of its most important countries, Senegal and the Côte d’Ivoire.”

The MainOne Submarine Cable System links West Africa with Europe, bringing ultra-fast broadband in the region. It runs from Seixal in Portugal through Accra in Ghana to Lagos in Nigeria, with capacity to land branches in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal, and Cote D’Ivoire. The cable system, which now has an upgradable capacity of over 10 TBPS, first went live in July 2010, becoming the first private subsea cable to bring open-access, broadband capacity to West Africa.

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FG Barks as Illegal Lottery Operators Pocket N1 Trillion

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The federal government has started moves aimed at putting an end to the activities of illegal lottery operators, which leave losses amounting to more than one trillion Naira annually.

 

To this end, the federal government through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is to police unauthorized online games.

 

National Lottery Regulatory Commission is also considering on one hand to enlist the help of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to monitor the payment settlement services to unauthorized lottery operations; and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on another to ban illegal lottery and gambling activities on GSM networks.

 

It will be recalled that Mr Bello Maigari, acting executive secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has last week raised alarm over the activities of illegal lottery operators.

 

Maigari, said that there were many lottery operators in the country without licence, adding that this has resulted to leakages in terms of what they were supposed to remit to the trust fund.

Bello Maigari, secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund

“Nigerian government is losing more than one trillion Naira every year because of illegal operators. There are a lot of illegal operators in the industry and these are part of the reasons why there are leakages.

 

“Some are conducting this business without being regulated and there are chances that such proceeds will be channelled towards crime, fraud, and of course, money laundering.

 

“We also have so many operators that are not performing for reasons best known to them; they have decided not to be moribund.

 

“And we learnt that some of them lease such licences to third parties to operate and through that there is huge leakage and government is losing revenue, particularly in the last 10 years,’’ he said.

 

Maigari stated that NLTF was collaborating with the NLRC to develop a strong and robust enforcement strategy to curb leakages and enhance remittances.

 

He added that the strategy would be an automated form of collecting proceeds from operators.

 

He explained that the national lottery Act 2005 stated that lottery operators were required to pay NLTF 20 per cent of their proceeds in the first five years of their operation.

 

“The national lottery Act 2005 section 24, sub section 3 requires an operator to pay to the trust fund at the end of every lottery a percentage of 20 per cent for the first five years of operation.

 

“Then subsequently 25 per cent, then after 10 years 27.5 per cent, this is the way it is structured.

 

“We are to use these proceeds to promote good causes for Nigerians in health, sports, water and sanitation and other social services that will impact the social well being of Nigerians.

 

“But our only challenge is that funds are not coming in as expected,’’ he said.

 

 

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