Wednesday , December 1 2021

COVID-19 Data Collation will be in Line with IT Regulations – Communications Minister



 

 

The Federal Government has said collation of data in the fight against coronavirus will be in line with the country’s IT regulations.

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who said this in a statement at the weekend, disclosed that some unscrupulous persons who claimed to give palliatives to poor Nigerians now used personal data of Nigerians such as SIM databases, bank verification numbers or any other personal records of Nigerians.

“The attention of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), has been drawn to reports of devious schemes perpetrated by some unscrupulous persons claiming they have access to personal data of Nigerians such as SIM databases, bank verification numbers or any other personal records of Nigerians. The Ministry also notes the concerns of well-meaning stakeholders on the privacy implications of government’s legitimate use of private data to check the spread of COVID-19, provide palliatives to vulnerable members of society and prevent criminal activities accentuated by the global health crisis we are currently dealing with’’, the minister said. For the avoidance of doubt, he said, “neither the ministry nor any organ of the Federal Government directed that any such database be shared to any person for any purpose other than the legitimate, statutory purpose they were collected for.’’

He added: “The public is therefore urged to disregard any information from any group or individuals seeking to confirm or collect personal records for any purpose. The Federal Government will never ask citizens to confirm their records via phone calls or digital means without an elaborate structure to ensure the safety of these records and effective communication to the public in this regard. To this end, I have directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as the custodian of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), to issue a comprehensive framework to guide public institutions on the lawful processing of personal data for public and vital interests such as public health, welfare, security and related matters.’’


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