Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
Director General/CEO of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Abdullahi, has accused Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) of breaching the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation 2019.
He made this known in a press release which he personally signed and made available to the media in Abuja.
According to him, the agency “was reliably informed and duly ascertained that the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service published a web portal: https://lagos.qpay.ng/TaxPayer, where personal information of tax payers of Lagos State was gleaned by the general public in breach of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019.
“We have also been informed that the LIRS has indicated that public access to the portal was a glitch from a consultant of the service and that the portal has been duly disabled.
“We commend LIRS for the swift remedial action in disabling the portal and pulling the website away from the public domain. We, however, warn that glitches of this kind do not insulate LIRS from responsibility or culpability from whatever actions, civil or criminal that may arise from such glitch, as personal and confidential information of data subjects were made available to the public illegally.”
The agency described such glitches as breach of the NDPR and invariably the National Information Technology Development Agency Act 2007.
The statement added the agency would further investigate this breach and the circumstances surrounding it with the aim of assessing the impact of the breach as well as determine responsibility and culpability of data controllers or processors connected to the breach and prevent future occurrence.
“We also advise the public to be vigilant and to report immediately to NITDA or other law enforcement agencies if they notice that the information of any data subject on the LIRS database is further disclosed or used in any manner in violation of the NDPR.
“We enjoin all parties to cooperate with NITDA as we seek to protect the personal and confidential information of Nigerian citizens from misuse and abuse,” the statement noted.
He explained that the agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy was established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.