Nigerian legislators pass bill prohibiting indiscriminate telemarketing

Invasion of privacy through telecommunications marketing in Nigeria could soon be outlawed after the House of Representatives passed the second reading of legislation aiming to alleviate subscribers.

Abdul Balogun, a sponsor of the bill, said politicians need to put in place substantial sanctions that will deter companies from abusing telemarketing while making huge returns at the expense of the privacy of subscribers.

He said the bill will prevent unsolicited advertisements being sent to users who are not aware of the partnership their service provider has entered into with a third party who is in search of a large database to connect with.

In addition to outlawing unsolicited messages, the bill will also prohibit providers from calling their subscribers’ residential phone lines as is being practiced by several Nigerian companies, especially Globacom.

The companies use artificial or pre-recorded voice to deliver advertisements and SMSs that subscribers have not given their prior consent to receive.

Another aspect of the bill is the imposed fine of NGN5 million (US$32,000) for defaulters who are found guilty of violating the law by engaging in carrying out telemarketing without consent.

If the bill is passed, experts believe indiscriminate telemarketing will be halted and subscribers will only receive messages and calls they have applied to receive.

Posted in: Telecoms

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