Nigeria: NDPC Levies ₦400 Million in Fines on 7 Companies for Data Breaches

NDPC Levies ₦400 Million in Fines on 7 Companies for Data Breaches
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The National Data Protection Commission (NDPC) has imposed ₦400 million in fines on seven companies for various data breaches. Olatunji, a spokesperson for the commission, revealed that since the enactment of the Nigeria Data Protection Act in 2023, the NDPC has completed over 1,000 investigations across sectors including education, financial institutions, real estate, insurance companies, consulting firms, and schools.

He highlighted that approximately 400 of these cases involve digital lending companies.

“The law allows us to fine companies based on the nature of the breach, its impact on the affected individuals, and the level of cooperation from the companies. Through remediation fees, we have collected ₦400 million,” Olatunji stated.

Despite receiving over 1,000 reports of data breaches since the Act’s implementation, Olatunji noted that the actual number of breaches could be much higher if awareness among Nigerians were not so low.

As the NDPC continues to enforce compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023 across both the private and public sectors, Olatunji urged all stakeholders to protect citizens’ data in line with global best practices.

“When we started, compliance levels were about 49% in the private sector and just 4% in the public sector. Today, private sector compliance has risen above 55%, while the public sector has reached 15%,” he added.

Previously, the NDPC indicated that it would hold chief executives of government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) personally accountable for any data breaches occurring under their watch.

In June 2023, the NDPC announced ongoing investigations into several companies, including Zenith Bank, GTBank, Fidelity Bank, Leadway Insurance, and Babcock University, for alleged data breaches.

By January 2024, the commission was examining 17 priority data breach cases across various sectors, including finance, technology, education, government, logistics, and gaming.

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