Olumide Babalola – a law lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom is a consummate and passionate digital rights, privacy and data protection lawyer in Nigeria. He holds a master’s degree in international Commercial Law with ICT & Commerce from the University of Reading, United Kingdom and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom where he is conducting extensive research on the concept of privacy within the jurisprudence of Nigerian courts.

Olumide’s pioneering litigious work around privacy and data protection has seen him litigate the subject up to the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Community Court of Justice (ECOWAS). In demonstrating his knowledge and expertise in data protection, he handled the first Court of Appeal decision on data protection in the case between Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative and National Identity Management Commission (2021) LPELR – 55623(CA) where the court extensively identified the nexus between data protection and right to privacy under the Nigerian Constitution – the case has become a focal point for all discussions on data protection within legal circles in Nigeria since September 2021.

In the courtroom, Olumide’s profile continues to rise as a go-to lawyer with regards to data protection and privacy litigation: since 2019 till date, he represented various clients against controllers for varying degrees of data breach and interference with privacy in court and the ensuing suits culminated in settlements and judgment sums running into millions of Naira. In 2019, while pursuing his desire to grow data protection law and practice in Nigeria, Olumide co-founded Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative (DRLI) as a civil society and network of lawyers with the principal objective of promotion of digital rights – the intersection of law and technology in Nigeria especially. Up to date, DRLI has litigated more than 50 digital rights cases in court with a large percentage bordering on data protection and privacy under Olumide’s direct or otherwise supervision.

Since the issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in 2019, he has regularly advised local and international blue-chip companies on data governance, transborder data flows, corporate data protection compliance and sundry matters.

In academics, Olumide has 6 published law books to his credit: The Attorney General: Chronicles and Perspectives (2013); Casebook on Labour and Employment Law (2014); Casebook on Corporate Law and Practice (2014); Babalola’s Law Dictionary (Of Judicially Defined Words and Phrases 1st and 2nd edition (2018 & 2019); Casebook on Data Protection (2020); Privacy and Data Protection Law in Nigeria (2021).

Olumide has authored six academic articles published by international peer-reviewed journals to wit:

  • Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCO) Under the NDPR, and Monitoring Bodies Under the GDPR: Two Sides of the Same Compliance Coin? (2022) 3(2) Global Privacy Law Review, 98-106;
  • Nigeria’s data protection legal and institutional model: an overview (2021) 00 (1) International Data Privacy Law, 1.
  • The EU GDPR and Nigeria’s NDPR: A comparative analysis’ (2021) 4(4) Journal of Data Protection & Privacy, 372; Internet of Things (IoT): Data Security and Privacy Concerns under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)’ (2021) 11(23) Computer Science & Information Technology, 309.
  • A Bird’s eye rundown on Nigeria’s data protection legal and institutional model’ (2021) 12(2) Gravitas Review of Business & Property Law, 1.
  • An analysis of the legal and institutional framework for data protection in Nigeria’ (2021) 11(1) Nigerian Bar Journal, 1.

Olumide is on the faculty of many certificate-issuing data protection training bodies including the University of Lagos Certificate Course in data protection since 2021.

In September 2021, he led a team of researchers that authored a Policy brief on Data Protection Authorities in Africa and in November 2021, on the invitation of the African Economic Research Consortium, Kenya, he worked on a collaborative project on ‘Data protection legal regime and data governance in Africa’ at the Regional Policy Forum on data governance and sound policy making in Africa.

Olumide is a frequent conference speaker on privacy and data protection issues at local and international fora including: RightsCon in Tunis (2019); the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin (2019); Africa Lawtech Conference in Nairobi (March 2020), PivSec Global (2020); Digital Economy Workshop on Fintech by the European Commission (2021), Privacy Symposium by Unwanted witness in Uganda (2021) and, PrivSec New Normal in London, United Kingdom (2021 and 2022).

Olumide is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, International Bar Association, Chartered Instituted of Arbitrators (UK), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), International Network of Privacy Law Practitioners and Privacy Law Scholars Network, British Nigeria Law Forum, Internet Society, World Litigation Forum, Lawyers Assisting Workers.