Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy
Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy

FG Engages Facebook Over Updated WhatsApp Privacy Policy – Pantami

TECH DIGEST – The Federal Government of Nigeria has some reservations with regards the recent updated Privacy Policy of the WhatsApp messaging application.

To this end, the government has engaged with Facebook to table the observations, according to a statement credited to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

He said the attention of the Ministry was brought to the Policy which states that WhatsApp will share information about the users on their platform with their parent company (Facebook), as well as other Facebook companies.

Speaking through his Technical Assistant (Information Technology), Dr. Femi Adeluyi, the Minister said that 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 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”, the statement concludes.

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