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Data privacy: Stakeholders call for removal of NIN from new int’l passport

Stakeholders have asked the Nigeria Immigration of Service (NIS) to remove National Identity Number (NIN) from the new passport design.


Stakeholders have asked the Nigeria Immigration of Service (NIS) to remove National Identity Number (NIN) from the new passport design.

This call was made on Wednesday in Abuja at a digital rights and data privacy stakeholder’s forum tagged: Assessing Digital rights, Data Protection and Privacy in Nigeria, organized by the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC).

The stakeholders argued that the addition of NIN of Nigerians to the new international passports by the Nigeria Immigration of Service was a violation of data privacy.

“The NIN is supposed to be very sensitive data; however, it is displayed on the data page on our passport which people may have access to.” a participant said.

Another participant asked: “What is the value of the data breach when my NIN is boldly displayed on my passport? Is my NIN a secret number or for anyone who has access to my passport data page?”

Mr Harry Ogeuch Director legal, human rights protection at the National Human Rights Commission said the idea of displaying NIN on the passport is not appropriate. He added that it could use a condition for application but not to be displayed on the important document.

He noted that Nigerians should embrace awareness to know their rights as “Right Holders” before they can effectively task the “Duty Bearer; the government” on how to how to ensure their rights and data are protected.

“Nigerians should work to know their rights and engage in advocacy to ensure government protects them adequately.” Mr Ogeuch said.

Dr Vincent Olatunji, Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, chatting with pressmen at the stakeholder forum in Abuja on Wednesday

Earlier, Dr Vincent Olatunji Chief Executive Officer of the newly created Nigeria Data protection Bureau said the Bureau is currently investigating the technology being used by digital loan providers so as to develop measures to tackle data and privacy breaches.

He said the Bureau is working with the Nigeria Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

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