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  • Crime
  • Updated: June 12, 2024

FG investigates over 1000 organisations for data breaches, fines four major banks

FG investigates over 1000 organisations for data breaches, f

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission, NDPC, reports that more than a thousand financial institutions, educational institutions, insurance companies, and consulting organisations in Nigeria are presently being investigated for varying degrees of data breaches. 

Four major banks and three other organisations have been sanctioned and fined a total of N400 million for violations related to citizens' data breaches, according to information revealed by Vincent Olatunji, the National Commissioner.

At a press conference on Tuesday to commemorate the one anniversary of President Bola Tinubu's signing of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission Act into law on June 12, 2023, this information was revealed. 

Nigerians will be able to seek compensation for data breaches according to the act, which aims to advance privacy rights and other basic freedoms in both digital and analogue commerce.

When considering the bill's route, Olatunji Recalled the uncertainty before to its signing, particularly in light of the incoming government, as reported by PUNCH. He credited the act's beneficial effects for the present expansion of Nigeria's data ecosystem, which is currently valued at over N10 billion.

"The NDPC is committed to protecting citizens' data according to global best practices. Since its inception, the commission has received over 1,000 reports of data breaches. Out of these, around 400 cases involved digital revenue companies, commonly known as loan sharks. 

"The NDPC has completed investigations into four major breaches, with some entities having already paid remediation fees," he said. 

Olatunji emphasised the improved adherence to the Data Protection Act, citing increases in the public and private sectors, respectively, from 4% to 15% and 49% to over 55%.

"Nigeria now plays a leading role in the Global Data Assembly, significantly impacting the national economy and surpassing countries like Kenya, Ghana, China, Singapore, and Malaysia. 

"The country is set to host the 2024 All African Data Protection Commission and Institutions event, with around 30 countries expected to attend." 

Olatunji also declared intentions to teach around 1,000 data protection officials and processors, including journalists, and 10,000 public personnel in responsible data management.

"To curb illegal digital loan platforms, the NDPC is collaborating with regulatory authorities like the CBN, ICPC, and EFCC." 

Olatunji did draw attention to the difficulties presented by the country's massive population and terrain, which allowed numerous loan sharks to operate from isolated locations without recognisable addresses. 

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