Civil society organisation, Laws and Rights Awareness Initiative, has asked the Federal High Court in Abeokuta to stop the digital identification cards being introduced by the National Identity Management Commission to replace the plastic national ID cards.
The suit followed NIMC’s recent announcement that it was replacing plastic ID cards with digital identification.
In the suit, the Incorporated Trustees of the LRAI argued that the NIMC software was not secure and would breach the rights of Nigerians to privacy under Section 37 of the Constitution.
Olumide Babalola, Counsel for the CSO, told the court that the NIMC did not conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment before embarking on the digital identification project.
Adedayo Ade-Rufus, who, in support of the suit, alleged that, “barely 48 hours after the release of the software by the respondent, Nigerian data subjects started complaining on social media about data breach and malfunctioning of the respondent’s software application as well as the leakage of their personal data to the entire world.”
He said the CSO suit was instigated by the complaint of a Daniel John, whose personal data were among those uploaded by the NIMC “on a software application which can be downloaded on android and IOS devices.”
“The respondent’s insecure software is in violation of its obligation to secure personal data against all hazards and breaches such as theft, cyber attack, viral attack, dissemination, manipulations of any kind, damage by rain, fire or exposure to other natural elements.
“The respondent’s processing of Daniel John’s personal data, including sensitive data, with an insecure software application threatens his right to private and family life,” Ade-Rufus said.
The CSO is asking the court to issue “a perpetual injunction, restraining the respondent from further releasing digital identity cards on their software application (NIMC app) or any other platform pending the independent report of external cyber security experts on the safety and security of the respondent’s applications.”