By Chimezie Godfrey
The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has commended the House of Representatives fordirecting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend recent directive mandating commercial banks to collect their customers’ social media handles.
This is contained in a statement signed by the
Digital Rights Officers, CITAD, Ali Sabo who noted that the directive was criticized by individuals, organizations, and human and digital rights activists, due to to its implication on data subjects’ privacy.
He said,”The Centre for Information Technology and Development would like to commend the House of Representatives on its recent directive ordering the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend its directive mandating commercial banks in the country to collect the social media handles of their customers under the guise of enhancing Customer Due Diligence, CDD, regulations.
“It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria last month, gave a directive to all commercial banks in the country to collect and store the social media handles of their customers for easy identification. This directive was criticized by individuals, organizations, and human and digital rights activists, including CITAD, due to its implication on data subjects’ privacy and breaching the personal privacy of individuals.
“CITAD, as an organization committed to protecting the Digital Rights of the citizens found the directive as an abuse of the rights of the citizens online and in contravention of the objectives of the Data Protection Act which was just accented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose main intention is to protect the personal data of the citizens.
“Immediately when the directive was issued, we released a statement calling on the all well-meaning Nigerians, National Assembly, and the President, to not only condemn the act but also to demand its withdrawal. The resolution by the National Assembly is timely and is well received by all Nigerians, and they must be commended for it.
“Moreover, we are reiterating our call to all Nigerians, Civil Society Organizations, and Media to continue raising their voice against this draconian directive. The National Assembly to sustain this and ensure the directive is being revised and the President to add his voice to the voice of Nigerians.”
He added,”We urge the CBN to listen to the voice of reason and do the needful as directed by the National Assembly.”