Group demands government action on data breaches

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) has called on the Federal Government to strengthen the Nigerian Data Protection Commission (NDPC), implement the Nigerian Data Protection Act (NDPA), conduct investigations to identify illegal activities online and strengthen cybersecurity measures to prevent further data breaches.

The call follows an investigation by PIN into the activities of some private websites operating in the country’s digital space, aimed at uncovering how they access and monetize the recorded data of Nigerians.

PIN presented evidence from its investigation to journalists in Lagos, including the National Identity Management System (NIMS) records of the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Olatubosun Tijani, and from the head of the Nigerian Data Protection Commission, Dr. Vincent Olatunji. as well as other data such as home addresses, tracking ID and National Identification Number (NIN), which were purchased for N100 each from a site,

The website offers a myriad of data services including personal data such as NIN, Bank Verification Number (BVN), Driving License, International Passport, Company Details, Identification Number tax (TIN), permanent voter card (PVC) and telephone numbers.

Khadijah el-Usman, head of programs at PIN, said the survey showed the website was visited 567,990 times in February 2024 and 188,360 times in April.

The Executive Director of PIN, ‘Gbenga Sesan, lamented that with just N100, the original sensitive data of the President, Vice President, Ministers, Governors, Legislators and Citizens can be purchased from unauthorized websites claiming to hold and provide access to citizens’ personal and sensitive data. financial datas. Sesan stressed that the economic impact was immeasurable and that it was only a matter of time “before this becomes a major risk.”

He warned that the dissemination of such information could lead to identity theft, financial fraud and other malicious activities, including the targeting of data owners by burglars, kidnappers or terrorists, who buy data, including personal addresses.

PIN called on the government to take immediate and decisive action to address the issue to prevent further data breaches, as well as to raise public awareness of the risks associated with data breaches and provide guidance on how individuals could recover. protect.