As the World and Nigeria mark Data Privacy Day, DataPro, a Credit Rating Agency has urged Nigerians to create a culture and attitude of safeguarding their data and information, especially with rising cases of data thefts, breaches and cybercrime.

Data Privacy Day is celebrated globally on January 28.

Ademikun Adeseyoju, Team Lead, Data Protection & Privacy Compliance Department of DataPro Limited, speaking on the event, emphasised the need by operators and government to raise awareness about the importance of data privacy, stating that this is why Data Privacy Day is also created by the European Union, United States, Canada and Israel until it became a global event.

According to Adeseyoju, “With the growing rate of data thefts, breaches and cybercrime cases, it is expedient that all stakeholders join hands in ensuring that adequate measures are put in place for the protection of personal data and adhered to.

“The global day”, she said “therefore seeks to reinforce the importance of privacy by sensitizing individuals and disseminating privacy practices and principles. In essence, the goal is to provoke personal ownership of privacy responsibilities in order to create a culture of privacy.”

Speaking further, Adeseyoju disclosed, “We are aware that a Data Protection Bill is currently in the works. What is to be expected from new Bill? The Bill will provide a more robust and efficient regulatory framework for the protection of personal data, to regulate the processing of information relating to data subjects, and to safeguard their fundamental rights and freedoms as Nigerians. The Data Protection Bill will be passed into Law by the National Assembly. It also touches on the establishment of a Data Protection Commission. This new commission will be charged with the responsibility of protection of personal data, rights of data subjects, regulation of the processing of personal data and for related matters. The Bill is expected to be passed into law soon.

“Firstly, it is imperative to note that there is an increased trend of privacy regulation and enforcement around the globe as countries continue to pass data protection legislation. Notably, countries such as Zambia, Rwanda, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, the UAE, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan enacted/amended laws on data protection in 2021,” the Data Privacy expert said.

She added that this trend is expected to continue in the coming years and will be a major decisive factor in the relationship between countries. Therefore, it is impressive that Nigeria has joined the bandwagon.

Adeseyoju explained that another note-worthy trend is privacy tech taking centre stage. Due to pressure being mounted on business models by regulators, consumers and other stakeholders, companies will resort to technology to help them achieve their business goals. 2021 saw the rise of privacy-enhancing technologies, it is predicted that they will take centre stage in 2022.

“Companies must ensure that they understand the solutions they are considering as well as their implications before making a decision,” Adeseyoju said.