The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is calling on all Nigerians to limit the sharing of sensitive personal information on private messaging and social media platforms, as the initial promise of privacy and security is now being overridden on the bases of business exigency.
The agency said it will work with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, to organize a hackathon for Nigerians to pitch solutions that can provide services, that will provide functional alternatives to existing global social platforms.
The Head Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, made the disclosure in a statement.
The agency stated this on the sideline of emerging issues around international technology companies, such as Facebook and Watsapp.
She added that NITDA in partnership with stakeholders, is exploring all options to ensure Nigerians do not become victims of digital colonialism.
” Our national security, dignity and individual privacy are cherished considerations we must not lose.
We have also raised concerns as to the marked difference between the privacy standard applicable in Europe, under the GDPR and the rest of the world.”
The agency explained that NITDA in collaboration with the African Network of Data Protection Authorities , engaged Facebook Incorporated, the owners of Whatsapp platform.
” We met with them regarding its global Policy officials on 9th April, 2021. After the engagement, NITDA, as Nigeria’s data privacy regulator, wishes to advise Nigerians on how Facebook’s business decision affects their privacy rights, and
What Has Changed?”.
According to NITDA, datasets collected by Whatsapp, collects the following information on users, account information;
messages (including undelivered messages, media forwarding);connections; status information; transactions and payments data; usage and log information;
device and connection information;
The new policy best renders the platform’s information sharing practices with Facebook and its companies.
The Facebook Team confirmed that private messages shared on WhatsApp consumer version are encrypted and not seen by the company.
” But the metadata (data about the usage of the service) which is also personal information is shared with other members of the Facebook Group.