NITDA Investigates True Caller Over Possible Breach Of Privacy Rights In Nigeria

27 September 2019

Telecoms

The National Information Technology Agency (NITDA) has started an investigation into a potential violation of the privacy rights of Nigerians by the Truecaller Service.

In a statement, Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency, said that the investigation is in line with Section 6 of the NITDA Act 2007.

The section empowers NITDA to provide advisory services in all information technology matters to the private and public sectors,

NITDA, therefore, announced that it was commencing with an investigation of the potential breach.

Inuwa said that initial findings showed that the Truecaller Privacy Policy does not comply with global laws on data protection, particularly the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR). He added that the findings also revealed that there are more than seven million Nigerians who are users of the Service, hence the need to inform the public of the areas of non-compliance as well as assist those affected.

One of the examples of Truecaller’s non-compliance is evident in Article 3 of its privacy policy. The Article states that Truecaller may share personal information with third-party agencies, networks and advertisers.

NITDA said that the implications of such practices are far-reaching and could put many Nigerians in unsavoury conditions.

In light of this, NITDA has urged all Nigerians to take advantage of Article 4 of Truecaller’s Privacy Policy which states that anyone who does not want to have their names and contact numbers made available to third parties can exclude themselves by notifying Truecaller via its website. The Agency also said that members of the public might even decide to remove themselves from the Truecaller Service altogether.

Source: Nigeria Communications Week