Kenyan telcos to be fined for leaking subscriber information

Mobile service providers in Kenya along with their agents will soon risk a fine of KSh300,000 (US$3,570) or a jail term of up to three years if found to have leaked subscriber information to third parties without due consent.

According to Bitange Ndemo, the Ministry of Information and Communications permanent secretary, this is a clear indication that private subscriber information, including telephone numbers, date of birth, gender, address, and identity card numbers, has been disclosed to the third parties by either the operators or their agents.

“Operators must put in place measures to ensure subscribers’ information is secure and confidential,” he said.

The subscriber information is usually captured during SIM card registration or while carrying out mobile banking transactions with the operator’s agents.

Under the new law, the four operators in the country — Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Yu Mobile — have until April to disclose to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) the measures they have taken to guard subscriber information.

The new law will also require the service provider to store securely all data collected from subscribers whether their phone lines are active, dormant or deactivated from their network for a year.

Those that fail to comply with this directive will be fined KSh500,000 (US$6,000), before being forced to keep the information in electronic format.

Posted in: Telecoms

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