Africa is waking up to the need to protect data. 65% of African countries (35 out of 54) have a data protection law or regulation. Cape Verde was the first in 2001, and Nigeria became the 35th country in 2023.
While digital technology provides multiple economic possibilities, it also has a dark side. In 2022, Twitter was caught secretly selling 140 million phone numbers and email addresses to advertisers. The same year, the Federal Trade Commission sued Kochava Inc. (an Idaho-based data broker) for selling geolocation data that spied on people visiting rehab centres, domestic shelters, and Churches.
Regulators know that embracing the internet's wonders also means preparing for its worst nightmares, hence the slew of laws giving citizens more control over who uses their data. As consumers entrust so much of their digital lives to the startups and technology companies building the digital products they love, it’s only fitting