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EFCC has begun the use of drones but there is a problem..

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EFCC has begun the use of drones but there is a problem..

On Saturday, March 9th, 2019, during the Gubernatorial and State houses of Assembly elections, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tweeted a picture of a drone it had utilized to monitor election activity in Benin, Edo state.

Why use it? This was part of the Government agency’s strategy to combat vote-buying. The drone was used in the Oba Market polling unit in Benin.

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What are people saying? Reactions, however, were not positive. A Twitter user by the name of Mohammed Ali, whose bio describes him as a Software developer and hardware builder, faulted the type of drone used by the EFCC to carry out its surveillance exercise. The model used is the Spark by Chinese drone manufacturer DJI.

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Another response from another Twitter user expressed the same sentiment

About the DJI Spark Drone; Released in June 2017, DJI’s Spark is a palm-sized drone meant for amateur drone users who intend to take simple photographs and shoot short videos.

It costs $500 (N180,000 at N360/$) for a basic package while optional add-ons like an additional battery, remote control, and other extras can increase its retail price to  $700 (N252,000). Pre-owned models can be found on Amazon and other online retailers.

The drawback for this drone – The biggest drawback of the Spark is its short flight time. Battery life is just 16 minutes which limits its ability to be used for an assignment like election monitoring which can take hours. Extra batteries can be on standby but the time it would take to continuously land the drone and swap the batteries every 16 minutes would hamper productivity and risk missing illegal activities happening in real time.

Suggestions – Another drone option suggested by Twitter user Mohammed Ali is the Perimeter drone from US drone manufacturer Skyfront.

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About Skyfront  – Located in Menlo Park, California, Skyfront is an aerospace startup that designs and manufactures long-endurance, autonomous aircraft for the Agriculture, Energy, and Utility industries.

In 2017, Skyfront’s first product, the Tailwind, set a record for flight time for drones of 4 hours 34 minutes. The Tailwind is a long-endurance hybrid gasoline-electric drone.

Skyfront’s technology enables commercial drone applications like package delivery, search and rescue missions, precision agriculture on large farms, and infrastructure inspection.

The company is backed by Techstars and Qualcomm Ventures and is a recent graduate of the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator.

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What will it cost? Skyfront has not released a price for the Perimeter drone but interested buyers can request a quote from their website.

If the Nigerian government is serious about monitoring elections to reduce vote buying and ballot box snatching, it will need to invest in drones that can fly for hours. Technology is increasingly making this a possibility for future elections.

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Tweeters can now decide who replies their tweet – Twitter

While some Twitter users commended this new feature as it is a good way to minimise the vitriol that often characterise social media, others have expressed worries that the feature could allow unverified news to spread unchecked.

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Twitter has announced plans to roll out a new feature that will allow users to decide who replies to their tweets. The new feature is currently being tested globally, but with only selected users in every country. The product will be launched for all Twitter users soon.

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How it works

This feature, which some Twitter followers have described as “Mind your business feature”, will provide users with three options whenever they compose a tweet. See the options below:

“Compose a tweet, and @mention the people you want to talk to. Tap the permission settings, choose who can reply; everyone, people you follow or only people you mention”.

Note that only people that fall within the selected option can reply to the tweet, but everyone can see, like or retweet the conversation.

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(READ MORE: A holistic approach to Nigeria’s power and agricultural sector challenges)

What this could mean

When this feature is fully launched, it could see a lot of transformations in the way people use this social media. Individuals and brands alike can now conveniently interact with selected persons, without having to deal with distractions from other users commenting or distorting the conversation thread.

As tweet chats, fireside chats, and twitter interviews go more viral, this option could allow for more coordinated conversations with only invited participants. Users who want to input their comments could retweet with comments, but their comments would not be directly seen on the twitter thread.

People’s Reactions

While some Twitter users commended this new feature as it is a good way to minimise the vitriol that often characterise social media, others have expressed worries that the feature could allow unverified news to spread unchecked.

Some say it’s a way to stop potential harassers from replying.

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(READ MORE: Suspension of sporting activities has greatly impacted government revenue – Akin Alabi)

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There are also some users who were concerned about how this feature could affect engagements on chats and conversations.

Although this feature could help prevent replies from trollers and prevent harassment, some Twitter users expressed fears that the presence of the retweeting feature could take the trolling and harassment to a whole new level.

Considering the series of reactions and responses to this development, Twitter may choose to take constructive comments into consideration before the eventual launch of the feature.

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ByteDance, Tiktok’s parent company, now worth over $100 billion

ByteDance is spreading its operations across new arenas such as gaming and e-commerce.

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Tiktok world’s most valuable startup is worth more than $100 billion

The value of the parent company of Tiktok, ByteDance, has increased by over 33% from about $75 billion it recorded during a major round of funding two years ago to more than $100 billion, private sources who spoke to Bloomberg News disclosed.

The valuation puts the Chinese company, as high as $140 billion; however, the transactions are done in the private market and may not fully reflect its real worth.

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ByteDance has significantly risen to become a popular social platform in recent years, boosted in part by a TikTok short video app that is taken most teenagers around the world by storm.

Investors are rushing in to have a bite of the world’s most valuable startup based on the fact that it draws some 1.5 billion monthly active users to a family of apps ByteDance owns (news service Toutiao ,Douyin)

What you need to know TikTok is a social-media app created in China that is presently downloaded more often than its western rivals like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram.

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(READ MORE:  Chinese TikTok announces $250 million pledge to aid combat coronavirus)

How it works Tiktok users are offered an endless stream of videos no longer than a minute each. They can show whatever interest they choose in and with an upward click on the app and can skip a video they do not like.

Meanwhile, ByteDance is spreading its operations in newer arenas such as gaming and e-commerce.

ByteDance started 2020 with a wave of hiring new employees hitting 40,000 to match Alibaba’s headcount at a time companies in the world were reducing staffs 

 

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Public institutions to digitize databases in 60 days, NITDA orders

Controlling sensitive data is a position of trust that requires adherence to the highest ethical and professional standards, in line with global practices and secure technological innovation, as the data is of public importance.

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Dividends of digital economy will make Nigeria globally competitive - NITDA , NITDA issues 100 companies data protection non-compliance notice 

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has given a 60-day deadline for public institutions holding or processing personal data to securely digitize all databases.

This will be done in adherence to the highest level of information security, ensuring confidentiality, integrity and resilience of all databases within such institutions’ control.

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According to a press release that was signed by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head of NITDA’s Corporate Affairs and External Relations, and made available on the website, this directive is part of the Guideline for Management of Personal Data by Public Institutions in Nigeria 2020. Part of the statement said:

“All Public Institutions holding or processing personal data are required to securely digitize all personal databases within 60 days from the issuance of the Guidelines.

“Similarly, all such public institutions are required to maintain the highest level of information security to guarantee confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of all databases within their control.”

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READ ALSO: China’s 3-5-2 policy to phase out foreign tech will scale-up Zinox, Omatek if FG adopts 

The guidelines are to be considered supplementary regulations to the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019, which is still considered valid and binding on all Nigerian individuals and institutions.

Controlling such sensitive data is a position of trust that requires adherence to the highest ethical and professional standards, in line with global practices and secure technological innovation, as the data is of public importance.

The new guidelines “also mandates the use of secure technology and automated processes for personal data by Public Institutions, in line with the requirements of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy,” and in consonance with emerging global data regulatory models.

READ ALSO: Surviving the looming recession in the Nigerian tech space

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Collaboration for interventions

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There will sometimes be a need for collaborations between the public and the private sectors in handling interventions for the benefits of citizens, and this could necessitate the use or release of such data.

The new NITDA guidelines recognise this and provides a framework that will ensure the privacy of citizens’ data without hindering the process.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has brought up the need for more personal data use to limit the spread of the virus. While we recognise the existence of constitutional limitations on privacy rights in the interest of public health and safety, yet such limitations must be based on defined frameworks,” the statement read.

NITDA urged compliance from all concerned institutions, stressing that “the Agency shall not hesitate to invoke the punitive sanctions provided in the NITDA Act 2007 and NDPR in the event of breach or abuse of personal data of Nigerians.”

READ MORE: Equities: CBN’s heterodox policies is driving domestic investors’ to the stock market.

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What you should know

NITDA, the apex regulatory body for Information Technology in Nigeria, issued Nigeria’s first comprehensive framework for the protection of personal data, the NDPR 2019, to provide a framework for the protection and processing of personal data of Nigerians and residents.

The agency functions under the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and is charged with the task of monitoring the use of electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication transactions in Nigeria.

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