By Patricia Amogu
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has tasked social media users in the country on awareness of their digital rights.
The Executive Director, CITAD, Mr Yunusa Zakari –Yau, who made the call in Abuja, explained that abuse of privacy of citizens online via electronic surveillance was an abuse of digital rights.
Digital rights are those human rights and legal rights that allow individuals access, use create and share digital contents while using computers, electronic devices and telecommunication networks.
Zakari -Yau made the call while presenting a lecture on “the foundational basis for digital rights” at a three day capacity building workshop on digital rights organised for Staff of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja.
He said that the importance of becoming more aware of one’s individual rights as a social media user will enhance cyber security and protect the user’s legal right while accessing the internet.
“There are a number of laws that protect specific digital rights such as personal data and privacy protection act, and the child protection online policy.
“There are struggles to enact the Anti-hate speech law and the internet falsehood bill also known as the social media regulation bill and the digital rights bill are contests over the digital space,” he said.
According to him, hopes are high that the new National Assembly will pass the digital rights bill to curb online exploitation of children, gender based violence and internet denial and shut down.
Earlier, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chief Anthony Ojukwu, said in his remarks that digital rights in an evolving society, is an aspect of fundamental human rights that must be recognised, respected and protected by all.
“Digital rights are emerging discuss on impact of digital technology on every aspect of human endeavor. Digital technologies hold tremendous potentials for improving human lives and ability to develop.
“These technologies present challenges with negative impacts such as censorship, inversion of privacy, illegal surveillance and harassment of women and children,” he added.
NAN also reports that the National Human Rights Commission is mandated for the protection, promotion and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria, which disposes the Commission to every aspect of activities that impact on human rights.
The Executive Secretary lauded CITAD for identifying and desiring to expand the frontiers of discuss on digital rights through awareness creation and capacity building for institutions with the mandate to defend human rights.
Mrs Ogoma Izimeh, a lawyer and participant at the event, said that digital rights are basic fundamental human rights and individuals seeking redress should approach designates bodies who are responsible for the protection of human rights (NAN)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola