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Communities of the 21st century are experiencing the undeniable effects of technology, albeit positive or negative. In Nigeria particularly, users of technology testify to its benefits while at the same have reservations with regards to its adverse effects. For instance, Nigerians are generally skeptical about releasing personal information over the internet, even though it’s elicited for personal purposes or requested by reputable organizations. Analysis of our technological survey indicate that 47% of respondents agree with the notion of being concerned about sharing personal information digitally, while 37% do not agree and 16% are indifferent (see Chart for Graphical Illustration). This could be said to be as a result of the carelessness of data security organizations in handling customer’s vital and sensitive information.

Though some claim to be aware of the intended purpose of data collected, others seem to be ignorant. Our survey results reveal 46% of respondents being ignorant of what is done with one’s personal information released to data collectors (service providers, advertisers, retailers, insurers, online vendors),  43% are aware of what happens to their personal information, while 11% are indifferent.

In a bid to affirm the positive impact technological tools add to the organization and planning of everyday life, a total of 64% of respondents agree they have been able to organize their lives better with the advent of technology tools, 27% do not agree while 9% are in-between. Furthermore, considering the fact that the use of contemporary media platforms might be overwhelming, our survey results indicate 62% of respondents are in agreement about the overwhelming nature of social networks on their daily lives, while 29% do not agree that social media can be overwhelming. However, a meagre 9% of the entire respondents are indifferent.

As technology grows, the rate of fraudulent activities over the internet also increases. About 51% of the respondents reported not having experienced any of the following technological insecurities- phishing, spammed by companies with no previous contact, email hack, bank account hacked or used fraudulently, personal details leaked. However, 49% of the respondents claimed to have experienced at least one of the fraudulent activities.

Without a doubt technology has had its impact on our society in diverse ways; hence, stakeholders like the government and private enterprises must double the effort to regulate how technology in general, and the internet in particular is used. The Data Security bill that was signed by the Nigeria President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 12th of June 2023 is a positive step by the government to control data insecurity/leakage. Moreover, data collectors can be more open as to what is done with user information. Consistent knowledge and awareness of the use of personal information can generate the much-needed trust warranted for the growing world of internet data collection.

Joseph Agbeja

Market Trends International

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