Data protection is in tandem with the right to privacy, which is a fundamental right of individuals, as alluded to in the ongoing Facebook saga. This article seeks to discuss data protection in Nigeria.

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 What is Data Protection?

The National Information Technology Development Agency defines personal data as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (data subject); information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. Data protection can be said to involve the implementation of administrative, technical or physical measures to guard against unauthorized access to data.

 Data Protection Enforcement

In Europe, the General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) was proposed by the European Commission in 2012 as an update to an existing Eu data-privacy law, Data Protection Directive 95|46|EC. The law will provide an unprecedented protection for EU citizens living both in an EU member nation or abroad. One of the reasons for its enforcement has been the scandal in which Facebook, and its founder, Mark Zuckerburg are involved in. facebook has been accused of stealing personal data of its users for certain purposes, an accusation that has been denied by the company.

Also, the GDPR also ensure that companies will comply with these broad demands, with the provision of serious penalties for those who ignore the law.

In Nigeria, the protection of data is protected by the following:

  • Section 37 of the 1999 constitution which provides for the right to privacy.
  • Cybercrimes Act 2015 which provides for the retention an preservation of traffic data and subscriber information by service providers for a period of 2 years.
  • National Information Technology Development Agency Guidelines, is responsible for planning, developing and promoting the use of information technology in Nigeria.
  • Also, the Regulation of Telephones Subscribers Regulation, among other laws.


In conclusion, data protection is essential to protecting the right ti privacy of individuals, which is a fundamental right. Thus, the provisions of laws to protect these right is a welcome development, and many other laws to further protect this law will be welcomed.

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