Senior Advocates Move To Court Over Safaricom’s Latest Data Privacy Statement

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CA Director General Ezra Chiloba, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa and Former Safaricom CEO/Board Chair Michael Joseph PHOTO/Courtesy

Safaricom and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) are facing a second class action suit after two senior advocates moved to court over SIM cards listing.

Senior counsel Wilfred Nderitu and Charles Kanjama are accusing CA of forcing Safaricom users to sign a data privacy statement allowing the telecommunication company to access bank accounts details.

In a case filed at the High Court, the two also lamented that their SIM cards were suspended forcing them to re-register to access Safaricom services.

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Nderitu noted that Safaricom had demanded sensitive information from him such as his credit or debit card, bank account numbers and Swift code and other banking details.

“I was appalled by this provision as I did not understand the correlation on the information to be collected and the SIM registration exercise,” he wrote.

Nderitu accused Safaricom of taking advantage of the fact that it has the biggest customer base by forcing its clients to subscribe to such services to continue enjoying products and services they offer.

The two want the court to stop the company from effecting the Data Privacy Statement.

Nderitu said he has been a Safaricom subscriber for the past 23 years and a registered M-PESA user since 2007 while Kanjama said he has been using Safaricom subscriber for more than 20 years.

“That on 15th October 2022, I learnt with utter shock and dismay that my SIM card had been suspended. As a result, I could not make calls, send messages, access my M-PESA wallet or make any payments,” Kanjama said.

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In March this year, CA asked Kenyans to ensure that their SIM cards are re-registered or they lose their lines and telecommunications services are suspended.

The enforcement of the regulations came after it emerged that unregistered SIM cards in the country were being sold by unlicensed operators and agents.

The new guidelines were also supposed to tame fraudulent use of SIM cards as well as update the Subscriber information data bases.

“The SIM card regulations 2015 now stipulates that the Mobile operators namely Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom should re-register their subscribers by updating their details with a digital passport size photo of the customers

“A person who intends to register a SIM-card shall provide verifiable registration particulars which include a national ID for citizens and passports for refugees and other outsiders,” CA said.

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