A Data Protection Consultant, Mr Tokunbo Smith, on Tuesday urged relevant stakeholders in the Education Sector to include data protection and privacy in the curricula of schools.
Smith, who made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, also urged the authorities to provide a data protection officer in every school.
He said that the introduction of data protection into the school curriculum was to sensitise children on data protection.
He said that the children should be sensitised on data protection to protect them from being abused, or releasing their valuable information online, adding that this could affect them now and in the future.
According to him, children’s identities can be stolen and used to commit crimes, which will have a negative effect on them.
“There are a lot of benefits for children who are exposed to data privacy and protection, they control their personal information.
“Children who are sensitised on data protection protect their personal data and those of others as well, and these children learn to value integrity and confidentiality.
“They learn to be good ambassadors of data privacy and, consequently, respect the privacy of others online, which is good ethics,” he said.
The data protection expert stressed that children should know what to share online, what not to share, and imbibe the principles of data privacy, ethics, fairness, privacy, transparency and accountability.
He noted that when children are sensitised, they would also take consent seriously and would not share other people’s personal data without their consent.
The consultant said that the ideal age to sensitise children on data protection, with reference to General Data Protection Regulation, was 13 years, while National Data Protection Regulation was 16 years.
Smith, however, said that the ideal age to teach a child about data protection and privacy was when he or she started working online.
“The role of parents and teachers is to educate their children and pupils on online ethics, usages and privacy.
“Schools, parents and the Nigeria Data Protection Commission should sensitise children on data privacy,” he reiterated.