SERAP Requests INEC To Publish Mechanisms To Protect Privacy, Security Of Election Data 

SERAP Requests INEC To Publish Mechanisms To Protect Privacy, Security Of Election Data

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “widely publish the details of safeguards and mechanisms put in place to protect the privacy and security of election information and data in the custody of INEC, including in its servers, databases and other electronic formats”. THE WILL reports.

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According to THE WILL, SERAP also seeking the clarification of the National Electoral Commission to “Clarify whether any third-party is involved in the collection, control, and use of election information and data, the legal rules and processes guiding the choice of any such third party.

“Clarify the other location or locations where election information is stored apart from Abuja, and the details of any third-party who has access to such a database, the safeguards and contingency plans put in place by INEC to address any threats to the privacy and security of election information”. Information Guide Nigeria

In a Freedom of Information request dated 26 March 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation, argued that ensuring adequate safeguards and mechanisms to protect the privacy and security of election information and data, would improve the ability of INEC to effectively discharge its constitutional and statutory duties; and as well also help to “remove risks of attack and unlawful interference by any unauthorised person with election information and data. jamb results

“Widely publishing the details of safeguards and mechanisms of election information and data would also contribute to improving the sanctity and integrity of the electoral process, and public trust and confidence in the process”.

The letter, read in part: “Putting in place adequate technological security measures to prevent unauthorized access to election information and data would improve the credibility of the electoral process and the enjoyment of people’s right to participate in their own government.

“As an institution, which collects, controls and uses election-related information and data in the discharge of its constitutional and statutory duties, INEC has a legal responsibility to ensure adequate protection of such information and data from threats and vulnerabilities to attack or interference.

“Any interference by unauthorised third party in election information and data may be used for corrupt, political and other unlawful purposes, and would expose election systems to fraud and meddling, as well undermine the right to participation and the country’s democratic system.

“The right of people to participate in their government is a fundamental feature of any democratic society, and any infringement of privacy and security of election information and data would strike at the heart of representative government.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel INEC to comply with our request in the public interest.

“SERAP notes that voter registration systems and voting systems are the most vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation by corrupt politicians and other actors.

“As the experiences in other countries have shown, election information is often susceptible to unlawful interference by corrupt politicians and other actors, which can be damaging to the integrity of the electoral process and democratic practices.

“The experiences of other countries demonstrate the need for INEC to take effective and transparent measures to ensure and protect the privacy and security of election information and data, which would protect the integrity of the country’s democracy.”

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Essien, Goodnews is a gruaduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo; Currently working at Infoguide Media as a news writer.

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