#PINternetFreedom Chat With Perkins Onome Abaje (@POAbaje)

Topic: Data Privacy Law. Does Nigeria need one?

Nigeria has a major data-related problem as there seem to be no end to biometric data collection in Nigeria. Some few days ago, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) commenced clearance based on biometric data capture for corps members. Very soon, biometric data may be required by schools and night clubs.  Without doubt, it has widely been recognized that personal Information has value both from a commercial and criminal perspective. However, many countries have developed and implemented Data Protection and Privacy legislations which lay down the rules in relation to what constitutes acceptable and lawful processing of the personal information of their citizens. Sadly, this is not the case in Nigeria. All of these (Biometric data capturing), are happening without a Data Privacy law and this is a big shame on the ‘giant’ of Africa. From mandatory NCC sim card  registration to mandatory CBN  BVN registration  and now the National Youth Service Corp. A major cause of concern is how these institutions are happy to implement the biometric data collection processes with a lot of vigor without a commensurable approach towards ensuring the rights of the owners of these data are protected. One thing a data privacy law will do for Nigeria is that it will specify clearly who can collect data and who it can share same with as well as required procedures.

Perkins Abaje is a self-motivated information systems solution and wireless sensor networking systems developer.

Perkins has a master’s (MSc) degree from the University of Greenwich, London, in Computer Systems and Software Engineering, as well as a bachelor’s degree (BSc) in Computer studies from the same University. He has been involved in data mining and development of smart systems for environmental monitoring.

Perkins has recorded successes working with multiplicity of IT solution tools, to support outstanding services in education and e-government.

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