To underscore the growing importance of data protection, the Nigerian Marketing Research Association, NIMRA held its 2019 business network session with the theme: “Future Success with Data Protection” even as the association’s new executive council was inaugurated to steer the ship of research experts in the country for the next two years.

Making his presentation on the theme with specific focus on “The ABC of Data Protection and Privacy Rights in Nigeria”, a Lawyer and Associate Director, Andersen Tax Nigeria, Michael Ango noted to the research experts that having data and securing the data is important to their business, failure to do this could lead to untoward consequences for the company.

The keynote speaker warned that failure to comply with requirements on data privacy and protection could lead agencies and organizations to risk data and privacy breach; hackers could hijack data; leading to reputational loss and statutory fines.

The second keynote speaker, Mrs. Alexan Carrilho, a South African expatriate and Operations Director, Kantar Nigeria, speaking on “Data Protection: The Road Ahead for Market Research in Nigeria”. According to her, the regime calls for increased regulatory oversights duties as practitioners stand to risk hefty fines.  The practitioners must always be aware that the subject has the right to be informed; access and correction; right to restrict processing, right to object, the right to erasure; the right to withdraw consent and the right to data portability.

While touching on some aspects of the earlier speakers, the third keynote speaker, Dr. Joe Ebhomenye, ESOMAR representative in Nigeria, declared that as a research agency, “You don’t own an individual’s data”, so do not treat it just anyhow. In unequivocal terms, he told the agencies heads and staff gathered, “data protection is your responsibility” urging them not to shirk in this onerous expectation.

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