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Whatsapp privacy policy: NITDA to assist Nigerians migrate to alternative platforms

…Will ensure Nigerians do not become victims of digital colonialism

Chidi Ogbuokiri

Against the backdrop of the take off of the whatsapp’s new privacy policy on May 15th, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has advised Nigerians to consider using other messaging platforms with functionalities similar to whats app in view of the new private policy of the company which give out users information to Facebook Incorporated and their other sister companies.

This came against the backdrop of the new private policy of whats app which says that “As part of the Facebook Companies, whats app receives information from, and shares information with, the other Facebook Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our services and their offerings, including the Facebook company products…”

NITDA in a statement said it collaborated with the African Network of Data Protection Authorities and engaged Facebook Incorporated to understand what whats app is up to with the view of giving it an opportunity to explain its views.

After that engagement, “NITDA, as Nigeria’s data privacy regulator, wishes to advise Nigerians on how Facebook’s business decision affects their privacy rights.”

NITDA further advised Nigerians that their choice of platform should consider data sharing practices, privacy, and ease of use among others; and limit the sharing of sensitive personal information on private messaging and social media platforms as the initial promise of privacy and security is now being overridden on the bases of business exigency.

It said Nigeria’s engagement with Facebook continues. However, it said that they have given them their opinion on areas to improve compliance with the NDPR. “We have also raised concerns as to the marked difference between the privacy standard applicable in Europe, under the GDPR and the rest of the world.

“Given the foregoing and other emerging issues around international technology companies, NITDA, with stakeholders, is exploring all options to ensure Nigerians do not become victims of digital colonialism. Our national security, dignity and individual privacy are cherished considerations we must not lose. Because of this, we shall work with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to organize a hackathon for Nigerians to pitch solutions that can provide services that will provide functional alternatives to existing global social platforms,’ NITDA said.

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