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CBN Get Court Orders to Collect Customer Social Media Handles

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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In a move that has sparked widespread debate, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has obtained a court order allowing it to collect customers’ social media handles from banks operating within the country. 

The decision, which aims to enhance the bank’s ability to monitor and regulate financial transactions, has raised concerns over privacy and data protection among the general public.

Reasons Behind the Court Order

According to the CBN, the collection of social media handles is necessary to combat financial crimes such as money laundering, fraud, and terrorist financing. 

By having access to customers’ social media profiles, the bank believes it can better identify suspicious activities and patterns that may indicate illegal transactions.

“The court order is a crucial step in our ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of the Nigerian financial system,” said a spokesperson for the CBN. “By collecting social media handles, we can more effectively monitor and respond to potential threats, ensuring that our banking sector remains secure and stable.”

Concerns Over Privacy and Data Protection

However, the decision has been met with criticism from various stakeholders, including civil society organizations and legal experts. 

They argue that the collection of social media handles without explicit consent violates individual privacy rights and may lead to the misuse of personal data.

“While we understand the CBN’s desire to combat financial crimes, collecting social media handles without proper safeguards sets a dangerous precedent,” said Amina Salihu, a human rights activist. “It opens the door for potential abuse and infringement on the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens.”

Implications for Banks and Customers

The court order requires all banks operating in Nigeria to provide the CBN with their customers’ social media handles upon request. 

Failure to comply with the directive may result in penalties or sanctions against the banks.

For customers, the decision means that their social media profiles may be subject to scrutiny by the CBN. 

This has raised concerns about the potential for discrimination, as individuals with certain political views or affiliations may be unfairly targeted or monitored.

Read More: Nigerian Banks Stop Collection of Deposit Processing Fees

Calls for Transparency and Accountability

Civil society organizations and legal experts have called for the CBN to provide more transparency regarding the implementation of the court order. 

They demand clear guidelines on how the collected data will be stored, used, and protected from unauthorized access or misuse.

“The CBN must be held accountable for the responsible handling of sensitive personal information,” said Chidi Odinkalu, a professor of law. “They need to establish robust data protection measures and ensure that the collection of social media handles is not abused for political or other nefarious purposes.”

Conclusion

The CBN’s decision to collect customer social media handles has sparked a heated debate over the balance between financial regulation and individual privacy rights. 

While the bank argues that the measure is necessary to combat financial crimes, critics warn that it may lead to the infringement of fundamental rights and the potential misuse of personal data.

As the implementation of the court order unfolds, it is crucial for the CBN to address the concerns raised by stakeholders and ensure that the collection and use of social media handles are conducted in a transparent, accountable, and responsible manner. 

However, the outcome of this issue will have far-reaching implications for the future of data privacy and financial regulation in Nigeria.

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Oluchukwu Ikemefuna
Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

Oluchukwu Blessing Ikemefuna, a talented content writer from Anambra, Nigeria, found her writing passion in secondary school. Holding a degree in Biological Sciences from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, she specializes in blog writing across technology, finance, healthcare, education, and lifestyle sectors. With strong research and SEO skills, Oluchukwu creates engaging content globally. Her work aims to inspire and engage authentically while driving action. Outside work, she enjoys travel, reading, and movies as she grows as a skilled writer.

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