NITDA compels Truecaller to protect 7m Nigerian users

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Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director General, NITDA says Truecaller harmonising in line with Nigeria's data protection laws
Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director General, NITDA says Truecaller harmonising in line with Nigeria’s data protection laws

By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Oct. 8, 2019 (NAN) Mr Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says Truecaller will harmonise its operations to suit the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

Inuwa said this at the ongoing 39TH Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), a global technology exhibition that gathers over 200,000 Information Technology interests, 145 countries on advancing technology.

The director general said this following the investigation he recalled the agency started on Truecaller’s privacy data breach on some unsuspecting Nigerians.

He recalled that the Truecaller Privacy Policy (TPP) is against global laws on data protection and the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) requires data collection, processing accuracy, specific consent validity and other necessities.

According to him, the initial investigation reveals that over seven million Nigerians are active users of the Truecaller service, hence the need to create awareness on that.

He said “on investigating the Truecaller compromise on data of some Nigerians, we have gone far on that.

“They (Truecaller) have written to us to find ways to harmonise operations to comply with the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation.”

He added that the TPP content comprises of two categories and have different policies for those residing in the European Economic Area (EEA) and those outside the EEA, noting that Nigerians should be aware of the category they belong.

The NITDA boss said citizens could find necessary information on Truecaller operations on its website — www.truecaller.com.

On the participation of Nigerian start-ups at GITEX, he said that the young innovators had global innovative ideas but needed an enabling environment and the right mentorship to achieve their goals.

He explained that over time, government had put in a lot of work in trying to boost local content, adding that the effort was yielding results and making the IT sector to contribute majorly to economic growth.

He said “a lot of start-ups are coming up in the country and this shows that government’s effort toward building the ICT sector is yielding results.

“Before, oil was the major contributor to our Gross Domestic Product but now, ICT has taken over; ICT contributes almost 13.6 per cent to our GDP, while oil contribute only about 8 per cent.

“Job opportunities lie so much in ICT; it is just for us to find out the right potential within our environment and develop it,” Inuwa stressed. (NAN)


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