The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched an investigation into alleged gross of privacy violation by Truecaller services.
It was also discovered that about 7 million Nigerians who use the services know little or nothing about privacy rights. And according to NITDA, they need to be educated.
The NITDA explained that it contravenes Article 2.1 (b) of the NDPR which requires data collection and processing to be accurate, and Article 1.3 (iii) which requires that valid consent must be specific. So by supplementing the personal information of Nigerians without specific consent and accuracy, they are susceptible to serious invasion of their privacy.
Another example quoted by NITDA is Article 1.2 of Truecaller’ policy, which states that when you install and use the services, Truecaller will collect personal information from you and any devices you may use in your interaction with our services.
The personal information may involve every data of your online activity. From IP address to device ID, to websites you have visited, to your outgoing calls and messages.
The probe finds these data collections to be excessive and invasive of personal data. It is also contrary to Article 2.3 (2)d of the NDPR, which states that when assessing whether consent is freely given, utmost account shall be taken of whether the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is conditional to one’s consent to the processing of personal data that is not necessary or excessive for the performance of that contract.
The data information Agency expressed their disappointment over the highlighted issues, noting that it has exposed many Nigerians to identity theft. And many have been framed over issues they know nothing about. The Director General of NITDA, and the Chief Information Officer of Nigeria, Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa, thus promised Nigerians that the Agency will act to protect their privacy and will continue to monitor the activities of digital service providers in Nigeria, to ensure ethical behavior.