Data Breaches: Meta, DHL, Opay Risk Sanctions As Nigerian Govt Opens Probe

Data Breaches: Meta, DHL, Opay Risk Sanctions As Nigerian Govt Opens Probe

8 months ago
1 min read

The Nigerian government has begun probes into the activities of Meta (the parent company of Facebook), a haulage company, DHL, and online payment platform Opay for alleged breaches of users’ data. If found culpable, the companies would forfeit two per cent of their annual gross revenue to the government.

Following a barrage of complaints against the companies by Nigerians over the violation of data subjects’ rights, the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) has opened investigations into the data processing activities of the affected data controllers, The Nation reports.

Complaints against Meta were said to be bordering on behavioural advertising without explicit consent of data subjects with approximately 40 million Facebook accounts in Nigeria likely being affected by the data processing under investigation.

DHL, on the other hand, is facing an investigation for allegedly violating the lawful basis and principles of data protection, it was discovered. Quoting sources privy to the investigations, the report has it that DHL’s data processing falls short of the confidentiality standard prescribed under the Nigeria Data Protection Act. The Act in section 24(2) (2) notes that “A data controller and data processor shall use appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personal data.”

As for Opay, the company with about 40 million data subjects, possibly came under the radar of the Nigerian authority following allegations that it opens bank accounts for data subjects without their consent. If confirmed, this would amount to a grave violation of the data privacy rights of affected data subjects.

READ ALSO: FG Probes Online Banks Over Breach Of Customers’ Data Privacy

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission is reported to have served each of the data controller companies with a Notice of Investigation, giving them ample opportunities to defend themselves against allegations of contravening the laws of the land.

It would be recalled that during the Commission’s presentation of the Nigeria Data Protection Act, 2023 to the public, the NDPC National Commissioner, Dr. Vincent Olatunji had warned that infractions would attract penalties in accordance with the letter and spirit of law.

While stressing that the Commission would not hesitate in “safeguarding the integrity of Nigeria’s data economy ecosystem”, he warned data controllers and processors against all forms of data processing that contravene the Act, insisting that the Chief Executive Officers of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government would be held liable for infractions.


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