NDPC vows to probe breach of data protection privacy at NIMC

Kunle Sanni

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) has directed a full-scale investigation into the alleged unauthorized access to the database of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) by a certain identity verification website.

The Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) in a report last week claimed that XpressVerify has complete access to the national identification numbers (NINs) and personal information of all Nigerians registered in the country’s identity database, managed by NIMC.

XpressVerify is reported to have commercialized access to NINs and citizens’ personal information on the database. NIMC, however, released a statement on Sunday, denying any association with XpressVerify.

In response, Vincent Olatunji, the national commissioner of NDPC, issued a statement on Sunday, stating that the commission will take further steps to investigate the matter and implement regulatory measures in light of public concerns over illegal access to the personal data of enrollees by a company called XpressVerify.com.

The agency stated that it has been collaborating with the NIMC to promote adequate data protection, and it mentioned that in February, a training session was held for NIMC personnel who were relevant to the purpose.

According to the commission, this is only one of several steps the federal government is taking to defend and preserve data privacy.

“We note that NIMC has initiated internal investigation and it has immediately given full assurances of cooperation with NDPC to get to the root of the allegation and to review existing mediums through which any entity may lawfully verify the identity of enrollees on its platform,” the statement reads.

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