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WhatsApp debunks data sharing with facebook

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By Ibiyemi Mathew

Messaging App,Whats App has debunked sharing the data of its users with social media giant, Facebook.

Earlier, Whatsapp came under scrutiny by users over its recently updated Privacy Policy.

In a statement issued by WhatsApp,the company said; “We go to great lengths to build WhatsApp in a way that helps people communicate privately.”

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data”.

“We can’t see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook: Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read your messages or hear your calls with your friends, family, and co-workers on WhatsApp.

“Whatever you share, it stays between you. That’s because your personal messages are protected by end-to-end encryption.”

“We will never weaken this security and we clearly label each chat so you know our commitment. Learn more about WhatsApp security here.”

“We don’t keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling: While traditionally mobile carriers and operators store this information, we believe that keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and we don’t do it.”

“We can’t see your shared location and neither can Facebook: When you share your location with someone on WhatsApp, your location is protected by end-to-end encryption, which means no one can see your location except the people you share it with.”

“We don’t share your contacts with Facebook: When you give us permission, we access only the phone numbers from your address book to make messaging fast and reliable, and we don’t share your contacts lists with the other apps Facebook offers.”

“Groups remain private: We use group membership to deliver messages and to protect our service from spam and abuse. We don’t share this data with Facebook for ads purposes. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can’t see their content.”

“You can set your messages to disappear: For additional privacy, you can choose to set your messages to disappear from chats after you send them. Learn more in this Help Center article.”

“You can download your data: You can download and see what information we have on your account right from within the app. Learn more in this Help Center article.”

“Business messaging and how we work with Facebook:Every day, millions of people around the world communicate securely with businesses of all sizes on WhatsApp. We want to make this easier and better if you choose to message with businesses.”

“We will always be clear within WhatsApp when you are communicating with any business that uses these features.”

Facebook hosting services: Messaging with businesses is different than messaging with your family or friends. Some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication. Which is why we’re giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts. But whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you’re saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook.

“To make sure you’re informed, we clearly label conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook.”

“New commerce features: People increasingly want to be able to shop from businesses online. With Facebook branded commerce features like Shops, some businesses will display their goods right within WhatsApp so people can see what’s available to buy. If you choose to interact with Shops, your shopping activity can be used to personalize your Shops experience and the ads you see on Facebook and Instagram. Features like this are optional and when you use them we will tell you in the app how your data is being shared with Facebook.”

“Discovering a business: You may see an ad on Facebook with a button to message a business using WhatsApp. If you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, you’ll have the option to message that business. Facebook may use the way you interact with these ads to personalize the ads you see on Facebook,”the Company said.

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Infotech

NITDA inaugurates startup labelling committee for implementation of Nigeria Startup Act

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By Blessing Emmanuel, Abuja

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has taken a significant step towards driving the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) with the inauguration of a Startup Labelling Committee. This committee, inaugurated by NITDA Director-General Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, comprises representatives from both the public and private sectors.

Enacted on October 19, 2022, the NSA established a legal and institutional framework to foster the development and growth of Nigerian startups. A critical provision within the Act is the Startup Label, which recognises eligible startups and grants them access to various benefits outlined in the NSA. The issuance of the Startup Label hinges on a thorough assessment and validation process to ensure a startup meets the eligibility criteria as defined by the Act. The newly formed committee will play a pivotal role in overseeing this process.

In his address at the inauguration ceremony, Inuwa emphasised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s unwavering dedication to fostering an environment conducive to the growth and success of young Nigerian innovators. He acknowledged the pivotal role startups will play in propelling the nation’s economic development and the significance of the committee’s work in nurturing and supporting these enterprises.

Inuwa elaborated on the various initiatives and support mechanisms the government plans to implement, aimed at reducing hurdles and providing financial assistance and mentorship opportunities to young entrepreneurs. He expressed optimism about the future, asserting that with the right support, these budding innovators could transform their ideas into thriving enterprises, contributing significantly to job creation and the overall economic prosperity of Nigeria in line with President Tinubu’s priority to “reform the economy to deliver sustained inclusive growth.”

He urged stakeholders to join hands in creating a robust ecosystem that would empower the next generation of entrepreneurs to flourish and contribute to the country’s progress. Inuwa added that the committee will be instrumental in establishing a robust legal and institutional framework for the successful implementation of the Startup Act. Their collaborative efforts will ensure a participatory approach that benefits all stakeholders within the Nigerian startup ecosystem.

“The composition of the committee reflects the emphasis on collaboration. Representatives from government agencies, industry experts, investors, and startup founders will bring their diverse perspectives and experiences to the table. This collaborative approach is expected to lead to a more efficient and effective labelling process, ultimately benefiting the growth of Nigerian startups,” he stated.

The National Coordinator of the Office for Nigeria Digital Innovation, Victoria Fabunmi, outlined the terms of reference for the advisory committee. These include reviewing and evaluating startups’ applications for the label based on criteria defined in the Act, periodically updating labelling criteria to ensure alignment with industry trends, and conducting impartial evaluations of submitted applications.

Furthermore, the committee will recommend the issuance or otherwise of the Startup Label based on defined criteria, provide feedback and recommendations on areas of improvement for rejected applications, and engage startups for more clarity where necessary. It will also periodically review its activities and data on labelling to identify opportunities and gaps that policymakers may need to address, review workload capacity, and recommend a fair ceiling for the number of applications to be considered per period.

The Labelling Committee comprises nine members: four representatives of incubators (ISN Rep, North and South), two representatives of the public sector (NITDA, NSIA), two representatives of civil society, and the Portal Coordinator who will serve as Secretary.

The inauguration of the Startup Labelling Committee marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act. With a multi-stakeholder committee guiding the process, the Act has the potential to unlock the immense potential of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem and contribute significantly to the nation’s economic development.

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Airtel Nigeria appoints new advertising, media agencies

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Airtel Nigeria has appointed new agencies to handle its advertising and media activities in the country.

This was disclosed by the Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Mr Femi Adeniran over the weekend.

According to Adeniran, “Following a rigorous pitch process, Airtel Nigeria is pleased to announce the appointment of three marketing communications consulting agencies to collaborate with the internal teams to drive Airtel brand communications, beginning July 1, 2024.

“Insight Publicis and The Hook were successful with their RFPs and have been appointed as advertising agencies while Algorithm Media has been charged with the responsibility for media strategy, planning and buying as well as digital marketing.

“MediaTrak Limited remains the media monitoring agency for Airtel Nigeria,” the statement revealed.

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NIMC boosts data security measures to protect citizens’ information

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By Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has temporarily suspended the bypass enrolment process to prevent abuse and rectify any irregularities.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by NIMC, Head, Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke,  on Saturday.

Bypass enrollment is a way to avoid or skip the process of setting up a device with restrictions and management controls, usually set by an organisation.

This process allows the user to have full control over the device.

“The commission has received numerous reports regarding fraudulent online platforms compelling Nigerians to submit their personal information for national identification number (NIN) modification or enrollment services,” NIMC said.

“Perpetrators of these illegal activities will be apprehended and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“In addition, the commission has temporarily suspended the bypass enrollment process to prevent abuse and rectify any irregularities.”

Adegoke also said NIMC will communicate to the public the resumption of the bypass process later.

The commission also stressed its commitment to providing secured identity services and protecting the citizens’ data per its mandate as Nigeria’s foundational identity provider.

According to NIMC, enhanced measures have been implemented to safeguard the information stored in its national identity database.

“These actions align with the commitment outlined by the Director-General/CEO, Engr Abisoye Coker-Odusote, upon assuming office in August 2023,” NIMC said.

“Engr Coker-Odusote emphasised that the NIMC collaborates with relevant security agencies to uphold the utmost data security standards and regulatory compliance.

“As part of these new security protocols, all licensed verification agents, front end partners (FEPs), and diaspora FEPs will undergo rigorous security vetting to ensure adherence to global best practices in identity management.

“Any FEPs in violation will face sanctions by established regulations and the nation’s laws.”

NIMC said law enforcement authorities have been directed to crack down on and apprehend individuals involved in online phishing schemes targeting citizens’ data from other sources.

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