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NITDA to Investigate Truecaller’s Service over possible infringement of Nigeria’s Privacy Rights

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commenced an investigation into the alleged breach of Nigeria’s privacy rights by popular caller app Truecaller. The smartphone application has features of caller-identification, call-blocking, flash-messaging, and call-recording.

NITDA Launches Investigation into Truecaller service over Potential Privacy breach
Kashifu Abdullahi, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The agency, in a statement signed by its DG/CEO, Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa, revealed the initial findings of the commission. And it would seem that Truecaller’s privacy policy is not in compliance with global laws on data protection and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

The statement revealed that Truecaller’s privacy policies contravene Articles 2.1(b) and Article 1.3(ii) of the NDPR which states that valid consent must be specific before personal information is shared with a third party among others.

In accordance with Section 6(f) of the NITDA Act, the commission expressed the need to enlighten the over 7 million Nigerians who are active on the platform on the particular area of non-compliance.

“The attention of the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA) has been drawn to the potential breach of privacy rights of Nigerians by the Truecaller Service. The Agency, in accordance with Section 6(f) of the NITDA Act 2007, which empowers it to render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors, wish to inform the public that it commences the investigation of the potential breach.”

Extract from NITDA Press Statement on comensing investigation into potential breach of privacy rights of Nigerians by the Truecaller service

NITDA Launches Investigation into Truecaller service over Potential Privacy breach
NITDA logo

NITDA added that invasion of privacy by supplementing personal information of Nigerians without specific consent encourages unscrupulous persons to continue using Nigerian identities to perpetrate fraud.

“By supplementing the personal information of Nigerians without specific consent and accuracy, they are susceptible to a serious invasion of their privacy. This has encouraged unscrupulous persons to continue using Nigerian identities to perpetrate fraud.”

Extract from NITDA Press Statement on comensing investigation into potential breach of privacy rights of Nigerians by the Truecaller service

The Agency urged Nigerians to employ their rights to exclude their information on the Enhanced Search function of the app.

“If any persons do not wish to have their names and phone numbers made available through the Enhanced Search or Name Search functionalities, they can exclude themselves from further queries by notifying Truecaller via its website at www.truecaller.com.”

Extract from NITDA Press Statement on comensing investigation into potential breach of privacy rights of Nigerians by the Truecaller service

NITDA Launches Investigation into Truecaller service over Potential Privacy breach
Data Protection

NITDA has assured that it will continue to protect the rights of Nigerians in the digital space.

The agency also expressed commitment to monitoring the activities of digital service providers and protection against the breach of rights of Nigerians. They also want to improve the operational environment that supports ethical players.

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