Friday, January 27, 2023

Comply With Data Protection Policies, HoS Urges MDAs

…As data protection bureau extends deadline on compliance notice

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The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSOF) under Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan has issued the ‘Guideline on Personal Information Technology Devices (PITeD) Provision and Usage in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)’ and called on MDAs to comply with the policy. The guideline seeks to, among others, “foster strict adherence to government policies and global best practice related to data protection; provide clarity on the legitimate uses required on the part of users and the consequences of breaching the provisions of the guidelines”. 

To reinforce data privacy and protection practices in MDAs, Part X of the guidelines provide, inter alia, that:

a.   Each MDA shall ensure that the usage of PITeD is consistent with Nigeria’s Data Protection Regulation and any regulatory instrument on data privacy and protection in Nigeria.

b.  The measures to be taken by each MDA for data protection and accountability shall include but not [be] limited to the following: i. Designation or appointment of a suitable officer within the MDA as a data protection officer (DPO). ii. Development of a Data Protection Policy in line with Nigeria’s Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and other applicable regulatory instruments on data privacy and protection. iii. Forwarding of the contact details of the data protection officer to the Office of the Head of Service and the Nigeria Data Protection
Bureau.

It will be recalled that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, recently issued a service-wide circular directing MDAs to comply with the provisions of the NDPR.

The national commissioner, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji lauded the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for taking “this bold and strategic measure”. 

He said: “The Bureau sees this effort by the Federal Government as another clear demonstration of commitment to fundamental rights and freedoms which are often impacted by data processing.

“In support of this encouraging development in the public sector, the national commissioner has approved an extension of time for data controllers and data processors to comply with the earlier notice on National Data Protection Adequacy Programme (NaDPAP) Whitelist. The deadline for the submission of details of data protection officers/contacts, among others, has now been shifted to January 20, 2023.”

Data controllers and processors who submitted before the deadline of November 25, 2022, have been awarded 10 points under ‘accountability metrics’ and ‘responsiveness to regulatory processes’. This represents 10 per cent of the total number of scores to be awarded to be eligible for inclusion on the NaDPAP whitelist.

A statement by the head, legal enforcement and regulations, Barr. Babatunde Bamigboye, saidthe bureau will also evaluate data controllers and data processors on other performance metrics including but not limited to the implementation of NDPR Compliant Privacy Policy, sensitisation of data subjects on data subjects rights, filing of annual compliance audit returns and globally acceptable information security certifications.

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