The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish details of safeguards on privacy and security of election data.
The group is seeking wide publication of “the details of safeguards and mechanisms put in place to protect the privacy and security of election information and data in the custody of INEC, including in its servers, databases and other electronic formats”.
This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday signed by Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’s Deputy Director.
According to the statement, SERAP urged the INEC chairman to “clarify whether any third-party is involved in the collection, control and use of election information and data, the legal rules and processes guiding the choice of any such third party”.
SERAP also urged him to “clarify the other location or locations where election information is stored apart from Abuja, and the details of any third-party who has access to such a database, the safeguards and contingency plans put in place by INEC to address any threats to the privacy and security of election information”.
Also in a Freedom of Information request dated 26 March, 2022 and signed by Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Ensuring adequate safeguards and mechanisms to protect the privacy and security of election information and data would improve the ability of INEC to effectively discharge its constitutional and statutory duties.
“This would also help to remove risks of attack and unlawful interference by any unauthorised person with election information and data.
“Widely publishing the details of safeguards and mechanisms of election information and data would also contribute to improving the sanctity and integrity of the electoral process, and public trust and confidence in the process.”
“As an institution, which collects, controls and uses election-related information and data in the discharge of its constitutional and statutory duties, INEC has a legal responsibility to ensure adequate protection of such information and data from threats and vulnerabilities to attack or interference.
“Any interference by unauthorised third party in election information and data may be used for corrupt, political and other unlawful purposes, and would expose election systems to fraud and meddling, as well undermine the right to participation and the country’s democratic system,” it said.