New technologies and the right to privacy in Nigeria: Evaluating the tension between traditional and modern conceptions
Recently, there is the increasing deployment of new technologies by the government and businesses for various purposes like enhancement of service delivery and security purposes. These technologies - new technologies - have immense benefits, especially in this globalized world and digital age. Nonetheless, they also have a side effect, in particular, to fundamental rights and freedom. The worst hit right among the catalogue of fundamental rights is the right to privacy. This is because of the nature of the relationship and/or friction between privacy and advances in technology. New technologies which impact on the right to privacy are laconically termed privacy destroying technologies and these technologies can gather large amount of individuals’ personal information and make them available for other purpose not contemplated by such an individual. In Nigeria today, these technologies have silently crept into the system and have indeed enhanced the tasks of government and business. However, no serious thought has been given to how these technologies affect fundamental rights and freedoms. This article is a modest attempt to account for some of these technologies and how they impact on the right to privacy in Nigeria. It examines the legal framework for the protection of privacy against the damaging effects of new technologies. The paper concludes that in spite of the wide use of new technologies, the jurisprudence protecting privacy is still largely underdeveloped in Nigeria. This is largely due to the tension between privacy in the old and new paradigms.
Key words: privacy, new technologies, privacy destroying technologies, Nigerian legal system