NITDA investigates Lagos Internal Revenue Service for publishing taxpayers’ names

The National Information technology Development Agency has said it would investigate the circumstances behind the breaching of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).

The Agency said it was reliably informed that the LIRS published on its web portal the personal information of taxpayers of Lagos State which breaches the NDPR.

In a statement signed by the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, it noted that though the LIRS was quick to disable the web portal, the Agency would still carry out its investigation to punish those found culpable for the breach.

“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was reliably informed and duly ascertained that the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) published a web portal – https://lagos.qpay.ng/TaxPayer – where personal information of taxpayers of Lagos State was gleaned by the general public in breach of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019.

“We have also been informed that the LIRS has indicated that public access to the portal was a glitch from a consultant of the Service and that the portal has been duly disabled.

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“We commend LIRS for the swift remedial action in disabling the portal and pulling the website away from the public domain.

“We, however, warn that glitches of this kind do not insulate LIRS from responsibility or culpability from whatever actions, civil or criminal, that may arise from such glitch, as personal and confidential information of data subjects were made available to the public illegally.

“We stress that such glitches are in breach of the NDPR and invariably the National Information Technology Development Agency Act 2007.

“The Agency will further investigate this breach and the circumstances surrounding it with the aim of assessing the impact of the breach as well as determine the responsibility and culpability of data controllers or processors connected to the breach and prevent future occurrence.

“We also advise the public to be vigilant and to report immediately to NITDA or other law enforcement agencies if they notice that the information of any data subject on the LIRS database is further disclosed or used in any manner in violation of the NDPR. We enjoin all parties to cooperate with NITDA as we seek to protect the personal and confidential information of Nigerian Citizens from misuse and abuse,” the statement said.

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