Guide to the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR)

In this guide:

  1. Key facets of the NDPR
  2. Guide your business to compliance
  3. How Privacy Bee shields your company

Key facets of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR)

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which is the government organization in charge of regulating information technology practices in Nigeria, created the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in 2019 to be the first regulation governing the use of personal data in the country. It remains the principal legislation for data protection in Nigeria to this day. Like so many data privacy laws around the world, its scope is extraterritorial to protect both residents of Nigeria and Nigerian citizens abroad. It therefore applies to any information collection process related to the provision of goods or services to Nigerians or the monitoring of their behavior.

More specifically, the NDPR aims to protect the privacy of Nigerians by regulating the collection, processing, and storage of personal data. The NDPR defines “personal data” as any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual. Examples of personal data include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses. The NDPR also covers sensitive personal data, such as racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health data, and genetic data.

The NDPR includes a number of key provisions that are designed to protect the privacy of Nigerians. These provisions include:

  • Consent: Organizations must obtain consent from individuals before collecting, processing, or storing their personal data. Consent must be freely given, informed, and specific. Individuals have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.
  • Lawfulness: Organizations must only collect, process, and store personal data for a specific and lawful purpose. The purpose must be disclosed to the individual before their consent is obtained.
  • Data minimization: Organizations must limit the collection and processing of personal data to what is necessary for the specific and lawful purpose for which it is being collected or processed.
  • Accuracy and updates: Organizations must ensure that personal data is accurate and current, making updates as needed.
  • Security: Organizations must store personal data securely. This includes taking appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, or alteration.
  • Data subject rights: Individuals have the right to access their personal data, correct or erase it, and restrict its processing. Individuals also have the right to object to the processing of their personal data and to receive a copy of their personal data in a portable format.
  • Complaints and redress: The NDPR establishes mechanisms for individuals to file complaints against organizations that violate data protection rules. This means that individuals have legal avenues to seek redress if their data rights are violated.

There are many similarities between the NDPR and global data privacy laws like the GDPR, but the NDPR has certain unique provisions emphasizing a more localized focus tailored to Nigeria’s legal and regulatory context. As such, the NDPR has had a positive impact on the awareness of Nigerians of their privacy rights. Nigerians, like so many individuals in countries with effective data privacy legislation, are now more aware of the information that organizations are collecting about them and how they can control their personal data. The NDPR empowers individuals to have greater control over their personal data in an increasingly data-driven world, ultimately fostering trust and accountability.

By strengthening data protection, the NDPR also contributes to economic empowerment. When individuals have confidence that their data is handled responsibly, they are more likely to engage in e-commerce, online transactions, and other digital activities, which can boost the digital economy.

Source: NITDA Implementation Framework

Guide your business to compliance

Under the NDPR, organizations are held accountable for their data processing activities. This means individuals can hold organizations responsible if they fail to protect their data or violate their data rights. With these accountability, there are quite a few challenges created for businesses.

The NDPR requires organizations to obtain consent from individuals before collecting, processing, or storing their personal data. Consent must be freely given, informed, and specific. Plus, individuals have the right to withdraw their consent at any time and it should be as easy to do as when consent was given. Thus, organizations must implement new policies and procedures to comply with the NDPR. Doing these basics leads increased transparency and accountability on the part of organizations, and there are perks for those going above and beyond to protect privacy can earn additional benefits, like greater consumer trust and a competitive advantage on the global marketplace.

However, this isn’t the only obligation creating trouble for entities collecting and processing personal data. Some of the biggest challenges for businesses include:

  1. Cost: Implementing process and procedures to comply with the NDPR can be expensive, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  2. Complexity: The NDPR is a complex regulation which can make it difficult for organizations to understand and comply with all of its requirements.
  3. Lack of resources: Some organizations may not have the resources to implement the NDPR, and may be faced with tough decisions about where to allocate resources moving forward.

Data protection regulations are not static; they evolve with technological advancements and societal changes, so businesses need to keep up with their obligations regularly. Some organizations hire a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to manage data protection throughout the organization and data transfers to other entities, as this can be especially challenging for international companies operating under multiple different laws and regulations. In some cases, establishing a DPO may even be mandatory.

Currently, the NDPR imposes the following obligations on organizations:

  • Limited collection and processing of personal data to what is necessary for a specific and lawful purpose, with explicit consent obtained prior to data processing.
  • Personal data is kept accurate and updated, with clear processes for individuals to submit data subject access requests (DSARs).
  • Effective security practices should be implemented to protect personal data, including encryption, access controls, regular security assessments, and incident response plans. These investments are crucial for protecting personal data and ensuring compliance.
  • Cross-border data transfers can only occur to countries or organizations that provide an adequate level of data protection, which may involve additional legal agreements, data localization, or the use of recognized international data transfer mechanisms.
  • Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) are necessary for high-risk data processing activities.
  • Data breach reporting to the NITDA within 72 hours, with clear records of the event and any actions taken to prevent it proactively.

Organizations that fail to comply with the NDPR may be subject to fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover or N10 million, whichever is higher. Some organizations find it helpful to hire someone with legal expertise to navigate complex data privacy frameworks, as the risk of lost profits due to noncompliance is simply too great.

Ongoing compliance with the NDPR can have a massive positive impact on customer relations for businesses, if done properly. It is essential for organizations to recognize that respecting data privacy and protecting personal information can build trust with consumers, enhance your brand reputation, and give you a competitive advantage. Instead of viewing the PDPO requirements as a burden, instead view the provisions as an opportunity in an every-changing world that cares more and more about protecting the right to online privacy every day.

How Privacy Bee shields your company

Protecting personal data and providing details about data usage is imperative for businesses engaged in online service delivery. New regulations are sprouting up around the word, necessitating more stringent opt-in and opt-out policies and granting consumers more rights to review, revise and remove their data.

Despite the proliferation of these regulations, the onus primarily falls on the individual to oversee, assess, and request the removal of their personal data wherever it may be exposed across the internet. The task becomes even larger when applied across an entire operation, which typically makes it impossible for a single person or small team to manage without professional assistance. Yet the identification and subsequent elimination of this data plays a pivotal role in deterring cybercriminals, as it substantially reduces a company’s attack surface and mitigates the looming threat of a data breach. This is where Privacy Bee emerges as the optimal solution, simplifying the time-consuming process of monitoring and eradicating employee personal data for business leaders. It’s especially effective for executives who are highly visible to the general public.

Privacy Bee both minimizes the proliferation of your organization’s personal data across the vast digital landscape and extends its protective umbrella to vendors, helping you ensure 3rd party partners do not serve as the weak link in your security defenses in the future. If you already conduct risk assessments and vendor surveys, kudos to you! However, it is still essential to recognize vendors are most susceptible to a breach via subpar data privacy management, which you wouldn’t want to lead to undue exposure for your organization.

In the ever-expanding, billion-dollar surveillance industry, Data Brokers and People Search Sites have assumed pivotal roles, reaping profits by trading your organization’s information with obscure and uncontrollable entities. The consequences of private data exposure on the internet are far-reaching and pose significant threats when obtained by malicious hackers.

A solitary data breach can lead to a loss in productivity, expensive remediation efforts, and recurring breach incidents—a predicament that plagues the majority of businesses following an initial breach. The first data breach sets off a chain reaction that not only inflicts short-term damage on your bottom line but also erodes brand value and customer trust over time. Furthermore, there are ripple effects to consider, such as heightened employee turnover due to poaching and a substantial decline in productivity due to more sophisticated spam attacks.

Privacy Bee combats threat actors lurking beyond your organization’s perimeters proactively. By meticulously pinpointing every nook and cranny of the internet where your data resides and swiftly purging it, Privacy Bee closes the data security gap. The service even encompasses dark web monitoring and provides timely data breach notifications if another company falls victim to an exploitation incident and potentially exposes your information in the process. When a breach happens, the quickest possible time to discovery and remediation is critical.

Our unwavering commitment is deeply rooted in the belief that privacy is an inalienable human right that transcends political discourse and negotiations. This is the reason why Privacy Bee vigilantly monitors user data for security vulnerabilities while holding the surveillance industry accountable. We compel Data Brokers, People Search Sites, and more than 150,000 additional websites to expunge your stored data and opt out of further data collection.

Privacy Bee protection covers a wide range of potential threats, including:

  • Data breaches
  • Social engineering attacks
  • Doxxing
  • Identity theft
  • Spam emails
  • Telemarketing calls
  • Cyberstalking
  • Swatting
  • Blackmail

Our service is a powerful tool for business leaders who want to protect their employees’ and customers’ data. In today’s world, where privacy is more important than ever, Privacy Bee is your trusted partner in the fight to preserve personal and organizational integrity.

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