Olumide Babalola Writes NUC, Urges Inclusion of Data Protection in Law Faculties

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A legal practitioner and data privacy expert, Mr. Olumide Babalola has asked the National University Commission (NUC) to include Data Protection in to the curriculum of Law Faculties in Nigeria.

Mr. Babalola who is the author of the first book on data privacy in Nigeria; “Casebook on Data Protection”, in a letter addressed to the Chairman and secretary of NUC noted that with the ratification of the ECOWAS Supplementary Act on Personal Data Protection and the subsequent release of Nigeria Data Protection Regulation in January 2019 which has made data protection a practices areas for legal practitioners, it has become necessary to introduce students to the subject of data privacy.

The letter reads in part;

“Upon Nigeria’s ratification of the ECOWAS Supplementary Act on Personal Data Protection in 2010 and particularly the release of Nigeria Data Protection Regulation in January 2019, data protection effectively became one of the practices areas for legal practitioners in Nigeria (albeit the practice area is 51 years old in Europe having surfaced in the Hessen State of Germany in 1970).”

“It is worthy of note that, data protection is now even studied as a stand-alone course in many universities around the world. (See the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ (IAPP) Privacy and Data Protection in Academic: A Global Guide to Curricula’).”

“It is my respectful suggestion that, in our universities, students could be introduced to data protection under human rights (it is an offshoot of fundamental right to privacy) or ICT law (the increased utility of technology led to emergence of the first modern data protection law in the 70s.) or intellectual property (personal data is viewed as an intangible property in some jurisdictions). Moreso, the Federal Government’s proposed digital economy drive could do with more lawyers who understand data protection especially when taught from their undergraduate days.”

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“From the foregoing, I respectfully urge your Commission to look into this and further align our universities with international standards in this regard.”

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