Nigeria: Data Protectıon And The Internet Of Things

Last Updated: 11 September 2019
Article by Davidson Oturu and Florence Bola-Balogun

The introduction of the internet in the late 20th century has changed how we live, work and carry out transactions. Although internet usage began with computers, it has now extended to other devices such as cellphones, watches, coffeemakers and even smart buildings.

The Internet of Things ("IoT") has been described as "a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-human or human-computer interaction.[1]" Put simply, IoT is the connection of devices to the internet; it involves the use of sensor enabled devices designed to collect data about their environment, which frequently includes data related to people.[2] For instance, Amazon introduced the Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled device that is activated with the voice of the owner of the device and responds to voice commands.[3]

The International Data Corporation has forecasted that there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices, or "things," generating 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data by 2025.[4]

Internet of Things and Data Protection Laws

The core data privacy law in Nigeria is the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation ("NDPR"), issued by the Nigerian Information Technology and Development Agency ("NITDA"), and it regulates the processing of personal data. It is noteworthy that the NDPR specifies the legal basis for which an entity can process personal data and imposes the obligation for security and protection of personal data on such data processing company.[5] You may read our article on the NDPR here for more details.

It is assumed that the IoT will ease the life activities of consumers and on the flip side, companies will be able to see how customers are using their stores, online services and even their products.[6]

However, one of the major challenges of this interconnectivity is that the IoT device communication pattern might increase the likelihood of data breaches. IoT devices could communicate in several ways,[7] such as: device – to – device communications, device to an internet cloud service or a device to a gateway communication. In the latter instances, the IoT device would have to connect to a data analytic service in a cloud computing setting.[8] In those situations, a company would have to ensure the security of the cloud platform.

Furthermore, the consent of e-users forms one of the legal basis for processing any personal information. However, some IoT devices have no mechanism for user interface and so may be unable to obtain the consent of users. This may be problematic as it does not afford visitors the opportunity to read privacy notices or information usually presented on a computer or a mobile device, requesting for the consent of the users. In addressing this seeming gap, an option is to obtain the consent of the Data Subject or enter into an agreement with the Data Subject at the point of using the device.[9] However, because various devices might interact with one another, the information accessed by a device may not have been anticipated by the manufacturer. Consequently, although permission might have been obtained at the initial point, the legal basis for processing additional information might not have been established.

Another issue is the cross-border transfer of data. The IoT devices connected to the internet may collect information from a country and transmit same for storage or processing to another country. In this situation, the entities processing the personal data are to ensure that they establish the legal basis for the transfer of the data and establish adequate security measures for the personal data.[10]

Ultimately, companies involved in the processing of information from IoT devices are expected to recognise the rights of consumers to use, access, and store their personal data.[11] The right of consumers to data portability allows them to access and reuse their data. The right to erasure also allows them to be forgotten. Consumers are also given the right to object to automated decision making for use in scenarios when a potentially damaging decision could be made without human intervention.


Although IoT devices have the tendency to push the limits of privacy in their operations, the protection of consumers' data must be foremost in delivering IoT solutions.

[2] Karen Rose, Scott Eldridge, Lyman Chapin - The Internet of Things: An Overview – October 2015 – The Internet Society.

[3] Nicole Lindsey- Data Privacy in the Era of Internet of Things- accessed on 30th August 2019

[4]The Growth in Connected IoT Devices Is Expected to Generate 79.4ZB of Data in 2025, According to a New IDC Forecast – June 18, 2019 - accessed on 30th August 2019.

[5] Article 2.2 of the NDPR.

[6] Internet of Things - accessed on 30th August 2019.

[7] Internet Architecture Board (IAB) - networking of smart objects (RFC 7452), accessed on 30th August 2019.

[8] Karen Rose, Scott Eldridge, Lyman Chapin - The Internet of Things: An Overview – October 2015 – The Internet Society

[9] Lara Veigh, The Internet of Things in the Era of GDPR,, October 24, 2017 accessed on 30th August 2019

[10] Article 2.6, 2.11 and 2.12 of the NDPR

[11] Article 3.1 of the NDPR

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions