The Data Protection Bill passed by the House of Representatives was considered for first reading by the Nigerian Senate during plenary on Tuesday.
The House in the committee of the whole presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday May 8, 2019, voted and passed the bill.
Edward Gyang Pwajok (Jos South/East) while stating synopsis of the report on the bill, said the bill seeks to establish the data protection services, and ensure the safety of data usage of Nigerians is protected.
The bill is for an Act to Provide for Establishment of Data Protection Commission charged with the responsibility for the protection of personal data and data subjects’ rights and regulations of the processing of personal information; and for related matters.
When finally passed into law, it will serve to protect Nigerians from data abuses by social media companies, such as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
In the wake of the data scandal in early 2018, the personal data of millions of people’s Facebook profiles were compromised.
It was a major political scandal when it was revealed the data analytics firm had harvested up to 87 million users personal data without their consent.
The firm used the personal information for political advertising purposes, raking in millions of dollars.
Recently Facebook was in the news for the hacking of its widely used messenger application by covert hackers, no response to the scandal was given by the Government.
Speaking with LawyardNG Data Protection expert and privacy professional Adavize Alao commended the Senate for receiving the bill. The legal practitioner stated that the passage of the bill would finally resolve the confusion regarding data protection in the country.
Adavize also stated that the agency created by the law if passed would also resolve the question of whether the
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has jurisdiction over data protection in Nigeria.
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