The need to protect the personal health information of individuals has become a global phenomenon. This is based on the duty of confidentiality that healthcare providers owe patients in general of which Nigeria is not an exception. Gradually, doctors and health workers have begun to embrace electronic record keeping of patients’ records and the old case note is giving way to electronic forms of record and storage. Thus, personal health information has become another type of electronically stored information that is capable of processing and manipulation by computers. This paper appraises the state of personal health information protection under Nigerian law by looking at the legislative provisions that guarantee protection for personal data especially in the healthcare sector. It examined the constitutional guarantee of the right to privacy, the National Health Act, 2014 and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations, 2019. A brief attempt was made to look at the legal basis for data protection in the United Kingdom and also a peek into the United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The paper observed in a conclusion that the laws appear to be a good start up towards the security of personal health information
REGULATIONS OR LEGISLATION FOR DATA PROTECTION IN NIGERIA? A CALL FOR A CLEAR LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK (Published)
Personal information or personally identifiable data is a subject that people have become aware of the need to protect. And the challenge of legislating for data protection in today’s world is that which many nations have taken seriously. Nigeria as a developing nation appears not to be left out of this as the NITDA has released a set of guidelines in this regard as a means to offer some protection. This article examines legislations on the Nigerian landscape that resemble data protection legislation like the Official Secrets Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the most recent NITDA Draft Guidelines for data protection with a view to show the adequacy or otherwise. The guidelines were examined in some detail. The paper summarily compares the present landscape with the European Union standard and concludes that Nigeria does not have adequate data protection legislation. The paper concludes that strong legislation is desirable to protect personal data in Nigeria.