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BREAKING! FG Sends Strong Warning To Nigerians Over Accepting New WhatsApp Privacy Terms

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The Nigerian Government through the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has raised its concerns over messaging app WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

“The National Information Technology Development Agency under Section 6 (f) of the NITDA Act 2007 wishes to provide this advisory to Nigerians to address Nigerian concerns on changes to Whatsapp Terms of Service and Privacy Policy which took effect on May 15, 2021,” it said.

This is contained in the statement released on Monday titled ‘Whatsapp privacy policy changes: Implication for Nigerian users.’ It was signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations at the agency, Hadiza Umar.

The statement acknowledged that Whatsapp users were free to decide whether they want to give their consent to the processing of their data based on the new privacy policy.

“The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) recognizes consent (a clear, unambiguous expression of privacy terms communicated by the controller and accepted by the Data Subject) as one of the lawful basis for data processing. Acceptance of the new privacy policy and terms of use implies that user data would now be shared with Facebook and other third parties,” the statement said.

The agency urged Nigerians to explore other messaging platforms beyond Whatsapp and advised that sharing sensitive personal information on private messaging and social media platforms be limited, given WhatsApps affiliation to Facebook and its history with user data sharing.

The agency added that it would continue engaging with Facebook as they “have given them our opinion on areas to improve compliance with the NDPR.

“We have also raised concerns as to the marked difference between the privacy standard applicable in Europe, under the GDPR and the rest of the world.”

Since 2016, WhatsApp’s privacy policies have allowed the application to share metadata, for example, client telephone numbers, device information and area, among others, with Facebook associated with legal tussles over security concerns.

Meanwhile, preparing of new identification applications in all visa workplaces cross country has been suspended by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The suspension was reported in an order, which which took effect on May 17, according to assertion endorsed by the Deputy Comptroller General, AB Yarima.

According to the agency, the move is a vital advance to facilitate the groundwork for the beginning of another identification system.

“This directive, which comes into effect from today, May 17, 2021, has become necessary to allow enough time to clear all backlog of applications sequel to the commencement of the new passport regime on June 1, 2021,” said the NIS.

“Consequent upon the foregoing, all PCOS are therefore directed to utilise this period, May 17, 2021, to May 31, 2021, to ensure that all backlogs are produced and handed over to command comptrollers for collection by members of the public concerned.”

All workplaces across country were instructed to consent to the suspension regarding all applications until June 1.

In April, the House of Representatives had given the NIS 72 hours to give visas to Nigerians who satisfied all requirements.

This was after lots of Nigerians lamented about their inability to recharge their travel papers or get another one.

The excuse the Nigerians had been getting was that the identification booklets are scarce.

Be that as it may, despite the fact that the NIS had said the booklets are presently accessible, a few Nigerians aiming to travel are supposedly as yet encountering difficulties with getting their visas both inside and outside the country.

As the delay lingers, the different NIS workplaces and focuses had griped that there is as yet an overabundance of uses to be cleared.

Anyway at its whole meeting on Thursday, April 29, the green chamber requested the government service from inside to survey its agreement with the visa printing company to help the creation of the booklets.

The goals followed the selection of a movement supported by Ugonna Ozurigbo from Imo state.

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