By Modupe Gbadeyanka
This development caused outraged and forced the company to suspend the deadline and moved the new implementation date for the acceptance of its new terms and conditions to May 15.
WhatsApp boasts of over 2 billion users, but the update caused some users to abandon the platform for its rivals like Telegram, Signal, among others.
On Friday, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, in a statement issued by his Technical Assistant on Information Technology, Mr Femi Adeluyi, said the Nigerian government was engaging Facebook on the matter.
Mr Pantami said he was aware “that the European region is exempt from the provisions of the updated policy and it is also being challenged in a number of countries.”
The Minister, who said the federal government released the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations (NDPR) in 2019, emphasised that the government was “committed to upholding the data privacy of Nigerians.”
He, therefore, directed “the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the regulator of the information technology sector, to engage vigorously with Facebook to understand the processes, level of security, of the data of Nigerian users in order to ensure that policies proposed for Nigeria strictly adhere to the provisions of NDPR.”
Mr Pantami assured Nigerians “that the federal government will give uttermost attention to the privacy of their data, in line with the NDPR and the National Digital Economy Policy for a digital Nigeria.”
The information includes user phone numbers, “transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our services, mobile device information, your IP address.”