CEM REPORT, FINANCE | To checkmate the activities of online financial loan companies that are currently defrauding vulnerable Nigerians the National Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) has disclosed that working with several agencies of government has launched an investigation into their activities.
The investigation is aimed at finding out their mode of operation, and the technology they are using and to look at a holistic way of tackling the problem.
The National Commissioner and the Chief Executive Officer of the NDPB, Vincent Olatunji, lamented that a lot of the online loan Apps operators don’t have physical addresses thereby making it difficult for the agency to track them.
Speaking at a briefing organised by the Bureau in collaboration with the NCC yesterday in Abuja, Olatunji stated that the investigation will be in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC,) the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant agencies of government.
“We want to ensure that the Bill is signed into law before the end of the present administration. Data protection and safety has to do with the reputation of the country. We cannot overemphasise the importance of compliance due to the vulnerabilities in the digital space. We are currently carrying out full-scale investigations of alleged violations in the telecom, banking and gaming sectors and we can report that appropriate remedial actions have been initiated.
“We are currently working with the Police Investigation Unit at the Bureau to ensure prompt action in some cases involving shadowy data controllers. As much as we rely on non-criminal processes in redressing breaches of data privacy and protection, it will be sorely wrong for any data controller or data processor to test the resolve of government in bringing wilful violators to justice,”
He observed that the issue of national security has gone beyond physical security, noting that is why malware is a cyber war all over the world.
He stated that the NDPB would soon meet with the National Security Adviser (NSA) to see how they can work together to apply the issue of privacy and protection to address the issue of cyber security.
He noted that “For every crime committed online, there is somebody behind it and that fellow has a digital identity. We now have a robust digital database under NNIM.”
Olatunji stated that the NDPB has engaged over 50 public and private institutions on the need to ensure the privacy and safety of data of Nigerians.
He further added that the Data Protection Bill has been sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for deliberation, adding that it would be sent to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill once approved by the FEC.
He noted that the bureau seeks to ensure that the data protection laws in the country are in tune with the global trend.