Nigeria Data Protection Commission Probes Major Banks and Institutions for Data Breaches

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) has initiated investigations into Guarantee Trust Bank (GTBank), Unity Bank, and several other lenders for alleged data breaches. The commission is also probing Zenith Bank and Babcock University for similar infractions, according to a statement released by National Commissioner Vincent Olatunji on Thursday.

Complaints have been filed against the banks regarding the alleged violation of Nigerians’ rights, unlawful data processing, and unauthorized access to personal data. If found guilty after the investigation, the banks could face a fine amounting to one percent of their annual turnover.

Olatunji highlighted the consequences under Part 10 of the recently enacted NDPA Act 2023, stating that a data controller with an annual turnover of N200 billion may be liable to pay up to N2 billion, representing one percent of their gross revenue. Additionally, offenders could face a maximum jail term of one year.

“We are currently investigating Guarantee Trust Bank, Fidelity, Unity Bank, Zenith Bank, Leadway Insurance, and Babcock University, among others, for a data breach,” Olatunji stated.

The NDPC has also received complaints regarding the online lending sector, prompting an inquiry into their activities.

“The commission is investigating over 400 complaints in the online lending sector,” added the NDPC chief.

Olatunji further revealed that Soko Loan is working towards a comeback in the digital lending market but is awaiting approval from the commission.

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