The Federal Government, through the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), has commenced an investigation into Wema Bank’s activities following the alleged data breach and illegal opening of accounts.
The Head, Legal, Enforcement and Regulations Lead at the NDPB, Mr Babatunde Bamigboye, announced the development in a statement made available to THE WITNESS on Tuesday.
The statement said:
Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (the Bureau) has commenced investigations into reports of breach of data privacy involving two major data controllers in Nigeria, namely, Wema Bank PLC and KC Gaming Networks (Bet9ja). This is in line with Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution and the provisions of Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) 2019 – particularly Articles 2.1(2)-(3), 2.6 and Article 4 of the NDPR.
It will be recalled that sometime in May 2022, some customers of Wema Bank PLC complained of breach of their rights to data privacy and protection by the bank. This data processing, according to the complaints against the bank, involves using their personal data to open accounts. The bureau is also investigating report of breach of data privacy at KC Gaming Networks. The breach in this case involved alleged external attack on the KC Gaming Networks.
At this stage, the objectives of these investigations as directed by the national commissioner/CEO of the bureau, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, are to determine the impact of the breaches on the affected data subjects and the remedial actions taken by the concerned data controllers. The bureau assures members of the general public that it would ensure proper accountability of the data controllers in the ongoing investigations.
Several customers of Wema Bank had accused the financial institution of conducting illegal banking practices in the country.
According to them, they discovered that the bank and its agents had been opening unauthorised accounts for customers with information or data in the bank’s possession.
Led by Ademola Adebise, The financial institution has allegedly been opening accounts for some Nigerians on its digital banking platform, ALAT, without their knowledge or consent in a bid to celebrate its 5th anniversary.