CBN’s Social Media Collection Raises Privacy Concerns – CITAD

The Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Engr. Y.Z Ya’u, has expressed concern over the new directive issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordering banks to collect customers’ social media handles and other personal details, stating that it poses a threat to personal privacy.

Engr. Y.Z Ya’u, who is also the convener of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, shared his views on this matter through a Twitter post obtained by CITAD Online Radio over the weekend.

He emphasized that the recently enacted Data Protection Act, signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was designed to safeguard the privacy and personal data of citizens.

However, the CBN directive contradicts the objectives of this law. The organization has raised questions regarding the value of collecting social media handles as part of a customer’s profile, considering that banks already possess unique identifiers such as the National Identity Number (NIN), biometric details, emails, and phone numbers.

In Engr. Y.Z Ya’u’s words, “The excessive emphasis on security in customer relations by banks poses a threat to customer privacy. The recent directive by the CBN, which mandates banks to obtain social media handles of their customers, infringes upon our digital rights and should be rescinded.”

It is worth recalling that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently issued new regulations requiring financial institutions to gather additional customer information, including social media handles, email addresses, telephone numbers, and residential addresses. This move is intended to strengthen the identification process within the banking system.

The CBN outlined these requirements in its recently released document titled “Central Bank of Nigeria (Customer Due Diligence) Regulations, 2023.”

According to the CBN, these regulations have been established to enhance customer due diligence measures for financial institutions under its regulatory oversight.

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