IT clearinghouse, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is to investigate the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) over alleged breach of taxpayers’ data in line with provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
The agency made this known in a state issued in Abuja at the weekend and signed by its Director General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi who also added that the NITDA will similarly investigate other data controllers.
“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was reliably informed and duly ascertained that the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) published a web portal – https://lagos.qpay.ng/TaxPayer – where personal information of tax payers of Lagos State was gleaned by the general public in breach of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019.
“We have also been informed that the LIRS has indicated that public access to the portal was a glitch from a consultant of the Service and that the portal has been duly disabled,” said NITDA in the statement.
The provision of the NDPR forbids publication of citizens’ data without their approval or that of any approving authority.
“We commend LIRS for the swift remedial action in disabling the portal and pulling the website away from the public domain. We however warn that glitches of this kind do not insulate LIRS from responsibility or culpability from whatever actions, civil or criminal that may arise from such glitch, as personal and confidential information of data subjects were made available to the public illegally. We stress that such glitches are in breach of the NDPR and invariably the National Information Technology Development Agency Act 2007,” the statement further added.
“The agency will further investigate this breach and the circumstances surrounding it with the aim of assessing the impact of the breach as well as determine responsibility and culpability of data controllers or processors connected to the breach and prevent future occurrence.
“We also advise the public to be vigilant and to report immediately to NITDA or other law enforcement agencies if they notice that the information of any data subject on the LIRS database is further disclosed or used in any manner in violation of the NDPR. We enjoin all parties to cooperate with NITDA as we seek to protect the personal and confidential information of Nigerian Citizens from misuse and abuse,” said Abdullahi.
To alert NITDA on any data breach, it can be reached through its email address: firstname.lastname@example.org any of NITDA’s handle on Twitter or Facebook: @NITDANigeriaor https://web.facebook.com/nitda.nig/respectively.