The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has explained that the Internet Code of Practice (ICP for telecom industry is essentially to protect the right of Internet users to an open Internet and provide clear guidelines to Internet Access Service Providers on the use of traffic management practices.
Prof. Danbatta, who spoke at the 2023 annual Nigeria DigitalSense Forum, focused on Internet Governance for Development, which took place in Lagos recently, added that the Internet Code also outlines the obligations of Internet Access Service Providers in relation to the protection of consumers’ personal data.
According to him, the Internet Code of Practice as well lists the obligations of Internet Access Service Providers in the handling of offensive and potentially-harmful content and the protection of minors and vulnerable audiences online; among others.
“One of the regulatory frameworks put in place by the Commission is the Internet Code of Practice (ICP for telecom industry, which is essentially to protect the right of Internet users to an open Internet and provide clear guidelines to Internet Access Service Providers on the use of traffic management practices,” he said.
Directing Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the country to comply with regulatory frameworks emplaced by the Commission towards ensuring the security and safety of their networks for telecom consumers, Danbatta said the Commission, in collaboration with other stakeholders, can make networks safe and get telecom consumers protected online.
Danbatta, who was represented at the forum by NCC’s Head of New Media and Information Security, Dr. Chidi Diugwu, spoke on the theme of the event: “5G: Data Governance, Safety and Security in Nigeria”,
He argued that building robust legal and regulatory frameworks is a crucial requirement for effective data governance in Nigeria and that the ICP provides the framework in this regard.
The EVC, however, underscored the need for telecom licensees, especially the MNOs and ISPs, to adhere strictly to industry frameworks that seek to enthrone effective governance in Internet delivery services.
With the emergence of new technologies such as the Fifth Generation (5G), currently being deployed in Nigeria, the need has come to pay greater attention to the issue of privacy, data integrity and online trust across telecom networks.
“As we embrace the transformative potential of newer technologies such as 5G, we must prioritize safety concerns because the amount and speed of data generated using 5G technology is unprecedented. As such, we need to always prioritise consumer privacy, transparency, and ethical data use; and this can be achieved by cultivating trust and handling data responsibly, and by doing so, we can unlock the full potential of 5G technology and promote innovation in Nigeria,” he said.