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FG rejects WhatsApp updated Privacy Policy, vow to engage Facebook

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed reservations on WhatsApp updated Privacy Policy and vowed to engage Facebook as the Policy infringe on the right of Nigerians.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant on Information Technology to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami on Saturday.

Adeluyi said, ‘The attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has been brought to the updated Privacy Policy of the WhatsApp messaging application.

“The Policy states that WhatsApp will share information about the users on their platform with their parent company (Facebook), as well as other Facebook companies.

“The information includes user phone numbers, “transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address”.

“Furthermore, WhatsApp has indicated that users who refuse to accept their revised privacy policy risk not being able to use the service at all.

“The Federal Government released the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations (NDPR) in 2019 and is committed to upholding the data privacy of Nigerians.  We are also aware that the European region is exempt from the provisions of the updated Policy and it is also being challenged in a number of countries.

“The Honourable Minister has therefore directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the Regulator of the Information Technology sector, to engage vigorously with Facebook to understand the processes, level of security, etc of the data of Nigerian users in order to ensure that Policies proposed for Nigeria strictly adhere to the provisions of NDPR.

“Nigerians can be assured that the Federal Government will give uttermost attention to the privacy of their data, in line with the NDPR and the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria”.

David Abakpa

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