Workshop on Privacy and Free Expression for SMEs Holds in Lagos

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Charles Bradley, ED, Global Partners Digital
Charles Bradley, ED, Global Partners Digital

Global Partners Digital (GPD) in conjunction with Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) organised a workshop on privacy and free expression in Lagos, to sensitize the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) industry in Nigeria on the need to respect privacy and free expression.

The event which took place on November 23, 2017 at CcHUB Innovation Centre, 294 Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos, drew participants from tech industry, social media giant (Facebook), CSOs, business owners, lawyers amongst others.

Facilitating the workshop was GPD’s Executive Director, Charles Bradley and Richard Wingfield, Legal Officer at GPD. The event also launched the guide published by GPD on how to respect privacy and free expression as a SME in Nigeria.

During the panel session at the event, the panelists, Tope Ogundipe, Paradigm Initiative Director of Programme; Femi Longe, CcHUB Director of Programmes (Open Living Labs); and Odunoluwa Longe, Cofounder and Lead Counsel at The Longe Practice LP, took participants through engaging and insightful discussions on privacy and free expression. The session also gave opportunities to participants to ask questions which were adequately answered.

The issues discussed by the panelists include ignorance, the need for a framework in carrying out business, the need for a data protection law in Nigeria, a brief discussion of the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill in the light of having a data protection law and the progress made on the passage of the law as well as challenges and limitations on privacy and free expression in Nigeria.

The facilitators took participants through chapters of the guide, using different scenarios to explain issues around privacy and free expression in businesses and also giving solutions to problems that may arise around these issues in the course of carrying out business in Nigeria.

Participants were later divided into groups to brainstorm and answer questionnaires on privacy and free expression issues. Each group appointed a lead to speak and answer questions during this session.

Further recommendations were made by the organisers for participants who want to know more about privacy and free expressions, especially in SMEs in Nigeria. NGOs like Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Paradigm Initiative that work in these areas were recommended for enquiries on issues of privacy and freedom of expression.

Also, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights was recommended for business owners to adapt.

Closing the workshop, CcHUB representative talked about the Safe Online guide, a digital security guide for civil society, journalists, web developers and active citizens, which was recently launched in Lagos. GPD’s Executive Director, Charles Bradley ended the event by thanking all the participants who came to the workshop.