NDPB Probes GT, Zenith Bank Over Alleged Data Breach

CEO, National Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji.

The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) has commenced investigation into reports of alleged data breach by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and Zenith Bank.

This was contained in a statement on Monday by the Bureau’s Head, Legal, Enforcement and Regulation, Babatunde Bamigboye.

According to the statement,” The investigations were triggered by allegations of unlawful disclosure of banking records to a third party and unlawful access and processing of personal data.

“According to the directive of the National Commissioner and CEO, NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, the investigation covers the data governance practice of the banks in all their branches in Nigeria and extends to all third parties carrying out data processing activities.

“The Bureau notes with concern that many data privacy and protection regulations and best practices are hardly implemented down the organizational strata of major data controllers in Nigeria.

“Similarly, the Bureau enjoins organizations to heed the Federal Government circulars and general compliance notice directing them to send the names of their Data Protection Officers/Contacts to the Bureau.

“There are reports by Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) which indicated that within 9 months of 2020, fraudsters attempted 46,126 attacks and they were successful in 41,979 occasion representing 91% of the time! This level of vulnerability to data breach is unacceptable and it can only be addressed through foolproof data security and data privacy measures by data controllers/data processors in the industry.

“The National Commissioner enjoins all financial institution to emulate the example of the Central Bank of Nigeria in compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) 2019 and in creating a robust data governance system.

“The National Privacy Week is an opportunity for all organizations to set their records straight on how they handle the data of citizens.

“Enforcement measures will be taken against wilful violators of privacy rights forthwith,” the statement stated.

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