The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), this week in Abuja, held separate talks with the Government of Finland, and tech-giant Meta on bolstering partnerships to achieve a better data protected Nigeria.
The talk with the Finish government was outcome of a working visit by the National Commissioner, NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji to the Ambassador, Finland, Leena Pylvänäinen.
Olatunji had similarly held talks with senior officials of Meta led by the Head of Public Policy Anglophone West Africa Global, Adaora Ikenze.
The visit to Ambassador Pylvänäinen was geared at leveraging opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and capacity building on data protection for NDPB with the Finland government.
Finland has robust data protection environment
Finland already has a highly robust data protection environment fostered on the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the (EU GDPR) further supplemented by the Data Protection Act which entered into force on 1 January 2019.
Enforcement of the GDPR in Finland is the prerogative of data protection regulator, the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman (Tietosuojavaltuutetun toimisto), which supervises compliance with GDPR and the Finnish Data Protection Act.
The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) is the country’s principal legislation. The equivalent of the GDPR, the NDPR is enforced by the NDPB.
Ambassador Pylvänäinen assured Olatunji’s led NDPB, – the equivalent of Finland’s Tietosuojavaltuutetun toimisto of support.
Data protection has become an important factor in the economy and security of individuals and nations, requiring greater sense of commitments and partnerships by all the global actors, said Olatunji.
According to one report, the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman recently imposed administrative fines on three companies in Finland for violations of data protection legislation. “These violations concerned giving insufficient information on data protection rights, neglecting to conduct a data protection impact assessment and the unnecessary collection of personal data,”
The dynamics of the data economy and the increasing complexity in data protection calls for closer collaboration between governments particularly data regulatory authorities like the NDPB in Nigeria and the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman in Finland.
NDPB to work with Meta
Meanwhile, Olatunji has assured Meta of a closer working relationship to jointly promote data protection and ensure the rights of users of social media are safeguarded on the platforms of the social media giant.
Meta, an American multinational technology conglomerate, is the parent organisation of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, among other subsidiaries.
Ikenze said Meta was committed to promoting businesses, social engagements and the defence of privacy rights.