NITDA Warns Nigerians Over Digital Colonization by WhatsApp New Privacy Policy

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) wants Nigerians to be careful of the new terms of service introduced by WhatsApp.

NITDA said Nigerians should avoid becoming victims of digital colonialism following their use of the Facebook-owned app.

This advice was contained in a statement on Monday, which read, “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.

“Millions of Nigerians use WhatsApp platform for business, social, educational, and other purposes. The platform is the social media platform of choice for many Nigerians.

“To understand the issues and allow explaining its views, NITDA in collaboration with the African Network of Data Protection Authorities engaged Facebook Incorporated, the owners of WhatsApp platform, specifically, its global Policy officials on April 9, 2021.

After the engagement, NITDA, as Nigeria’s data privacy regulator, wishes to advise Nigerians on how Facebook’s business decision affects their privacy rights.”

NITDA told Nigerians that they are at liberty to decide on giving consent to the processing of their data and that acceptance of the new privacy policy and terms of use implies that user’s data would now be shared with Facebook and other third parties.”

“Users will now be subject to the terms and policies of Facebook and other receiving entities with or without being direct subscribers to such services.”

NITDA further reiterated that Nigerians have other similar platforms open to them to explore beyond WhatsApp.

The agency also advised that Nigerians should limit the sharing of sensitive personal information on private messaging and social media platforms, especially since business exigency has been prioritized over privacy and security.

NITDA, therefore, advises Nigerians to explore other social platforms aside from WhatsApp so that they don’t become victims of digital colonialism.
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