NDPC Issues Code Of Conduct For Data Protection Compliance Organizations

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission has issued a Code of Conduct for DPCOs in Nigeria, ahead of its enforcement drive in 2024 and in a bid to ensure professionalism among firms that are licensed to carry out compliance as a service.

A statement signed by the NDPC Head of Media, Itunu Dosekun, said that while addressing the meeting of the Commission with the DPCOs, the National Commissioner, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, urged DPCOs to see their role in the implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA) 2023 as a public trust which must be guarded with utmost sense of responsibility. Dr. Olatunji noted the opportunities presented by the Act particularly the lawful use of data and job creation in the data processing value chain.

It will be recalled that NDPA 2023 under section 33 vests the Commission with the power to license persons having a requisite level of expertise, about data protection and the Act, to monitor, audit, and report on compliance by data controllers and data processors. This is a unique Public Private Partnership model which is designed to promote trust and confidence in Nigeria’s digital economy which – like other economies around the world – thrives on data processing.

In line with the Code of Conduct, the compliance services that may be offered by DPCOs include but are not limited to the following:
a) Awareness and capacity building?
b) Registration of the data controller or a data processor with the Commission.
c)Development of compliance schedules.
d)Implementation of compliance schedules.
e) NDPA Compliance Audit and filing of Compliance Audit Returns with the Commission.
f) Data Privacy Impact Assessment; and
g) Facilitating and Vetting Data Privacy Agreement.

For a firm to operate as a DPCO and carry out compliance services, it must, among others, be duly licensed by the Commission and it must have a verifiably certified Data Protection Officer. As of November 2023, 163 DPCOs have been licensed by the Commission.

Whilst presenting the Code of Conduct to the DPCOs, the Commission’s Head of Legal, Enforcement, and Regulations, Babatunde Bamigboye, Esq X-rayed the target objectives and the principles, particularly: Privacy Consciousness, Capacity Building, Accountability, Data Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility. All DPCOs will be held accountable in line with the provisions of the NDPA, the Code of Conduct, and other regulatory instruments that be issued by the Commission going forward.