Data Breach: AnyVerify is Selling Nigerian Personal Data for ₦100 on its Unlicenced Website

AnyVerify, a website that claims to help businesses verify their customers, is selling the personal information of over 100 million Nigerians—including National Identification Number (NIN), Bank Verification Number (BVN), international passport, company details, phone number, tax identification (TIN), and permanent voter card (PVC)—despite being unlicensed by the country’s identity management commission (NIMC).

Paradigm Initiative reported that all data is sold by this website to any interested person for the sum of N100.00 (one hundred naira only) for each data request. This website was visited five hundred and sixty-seven thousand, nine hundred and ninety (567,990) times in February 2024 and one hundred and eighty-eight thousand, three hundred and sixty (188,360) times in April 2024.

The availability of such data raises serious concerns about privacy breaches and potential security risks for millions of Nigerians.

It was also reported on Tech Cabal that the website was tested, archived and payment could be made for NIN slips belonging to Bosun Tijani The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy and Vincent Olatunji, the commissioner of the NDPC

In response, Paradigm Initiative has taken legal action by serving pre-action notices to several government agencies responsible for data protection and management: National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) , Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Paradigm Initiative is an organisation that connects underserved young Africans with digital opportunities and ensures their rights are protected. The organization warns that this unauthorized access to personal information could lead to identity theft, financial fraud and other malicious activities, including the owners of the data being targeted by burglars, kidnappers or terrorists who purchase data including home addresses. This breaches can also impact the economic and national security of the state.

Experts worry that the widespread availability of personal and financial data could undermine public trust in financial institutions and pose national security risks. The situation highlights the urgent need for stronger data protection laws and more robust cybersecurity measures in Nigeria.

As investigations continue, citizens are advised to remain vigilant about their personal information and report any suspicious activities related to their data.

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