In the Era of COVID-19 and Data Protection, the Unavoidable Need for BYOD Policy

Francis Aloh, Specialist, Legal Services, 9mobile, Nigeria

Sometime in 2018, the Nigerian Information Technology and Development Agency issued the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), which took effect in 2019. The NDPR mirrors the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union 2016/679 which provides extensive data privacy protection and regulation across board, including employment law and employment relationship. The NDPR has specific provisions regarding the privacy of employees’ personal data either furnished to employers at the commencement of employment or accessible to employers by virtue of access to employees’ work tools , such as office work stations, official laptop computers and mobile telephones, personal laptop computers and mobile telephones serving dual purpose of personal and official use. Many companies have no internal ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) Policy that spells out the modus operandi for these devices, possible exposures and mitigations for likely breaches, and defining the extent of access to private information of employees; to aid employees in deciding whether to enrol or opt out of a BYOD. Furthermore, the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic forced most enterprise in Nigeria, and indeed around the globe to either shutdown or resort to working remotely from homes using either personal or company issued devices. Interestingly, most Nigerian enterprise’ operate a BYOD by conduct without having a BYOD policy, thereby exposing these enterprise’ to possible breach. This article provides a guide to balancing the seemingly conflicting interest of safeguarding corporate confidential information and privacy rights of employees through a BYOD Policy.

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Nigeria Data Protection Telecommunications August 2020 Vol.13, No. 52, Summer 2020

Francis Aloh

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Francis Aloh provides high end legal services to 9mobile, especially in the areas of dispute management (including litigation, arbitration and mediation) contract negotiation and transaction advisory (generic and industry specific contract drafting inclusive), regulatory compliance, tax, real estate and data protection. In addition, he has a wealth of experience in advicing clients across various sectors, such as, oil and gas, energy and power, maritime, information technology and intellectual property, including company secretarial services while he worked with leading law firms in Nigeria. Francis is an international data privacy expert and duly certified by the IAPP, as well as an arbitrator, with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), Nigerian Branch. He also a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, Nigerian Branch and a member of various local and internal professional organisations. He has published articles on various topical issues including privacy and data protection, and pushing the frontiers of privacy security in Nigeria and Africa.

9mobile

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Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited, trading as 9mobile in Nigeria is a telecommunication service provider which offers cellular communications, fixed-line services, and broadband services to its customers throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa. As a premier provider of hybrid satellite and terrestrial communications, 9mobile has built up state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure and taken a leadership position in innovation and quality among mobile network providers operating in Nigeria. Formerly referred to as Etisalat, 9mobile’s new brand identity reflects the bold and creative attributes which it shares with its valued subscribers; especially the vibrant youth segment. 9mobile is renowned for its youth friendly and customer focused network in Nigeria, and has consistently demonstrated its core values of innovation, quality of service and best in class telecommunication services tailored to suit its individual customer’s needs. With its innovative solutions and practices, 9mobile is poised to drive the future of technology in Nigeria through the delivery of high speed data and quality voice services that will enable customers on its network to do more.

Nigeria Data Protection Telecommunications August 2020 Vol.13, No. 52, Summer 2020
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