According to a statement issued on Sunday, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to engage with Facebook “to understand the processes, level of security, etc of the data of Nigerian users.”
The new policy says WhatsApp will share information about the users on their platform with their parent company, Facebook, as well as other Facebook companies.
The information includes user phone numbers, “transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address”.
“Given recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to make clear that we will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told The Verge. The company also said this “is the plan moving forward indefinitely.”
The Nigerian government said it was aware that the European region is exempted from the provisions of the updated Policy and it is also being challenged by many other countries.
“Nigerians can be assured that the Federal Government will give uttermost attention to the privacy of their data, in line with the NDPR and the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria,” the statement said.