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UW Petition: A call to UCC to prevail over telecommunication companies from misusing customer’s personal information

5 Feb 2014

We the undersigned demand that Uganda communications Commission take immediate action against telecommunications companies that are misusing customers’ data and information.

The Unwanted Witness Uganda together with the organizers of the International action centre at www.necessaryandproportionate.org/takeaction has today launched a petition in Uganda asking mobile and internet to demand for all Telecommunications companies in Uganda licensed by the Uganda communications Commission to forthwith stop misusing customer’s personal information

For a long time, telecommunication companies in Uganda have continued to register subscribers through the mandatory SIM-Card registrations exercise. Whilst this is happening, the said companies have continued to misuse the said information gathered in their custody by passing it  to business persons/entities, politicians and government security agencies in the absence of a privacy & a data protection law. The effect with this has been businesses bombarding users with unsolicited messages which illegally cheat customers of their airtime while deactivating; politicians using customers illegally obtained information/data to solicit  for votes; unlawfully tendering it as evidence in court and general interference with the customers right to privacy and data protection through  mass surveillance by security agencies;

The right to privacy is part of the basic fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the 1995 constitution as inherent and not state given. Specifically article 27 (2) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda states that no person shall be subjected to interference with the privacy of that person’s home, correspondence, communication or other property. The purpose of the guarantee is to protect personal safety and security of the individual.

The Unwanted Witness in partnership with the necessary and proportionate coalition share the belief that telecommunication companies are in serious breach of their duty of confidentiality and protection of their customer’s right to privacy. Hence telecommunication companies have totally failed to implement and adhere to their own data protection policies. For this reason, telecommunication companies should stop this illegal act and provide assurances to customers on the safety and security of their private information as the government undertakes measures to enact a Privacy and data protection law.

We thus recommend the following;

1.      Uganda Communications Commission should put in place stringent measures for telecommunication companies to strictly adhere and conform to the implementation of the consumer’s rights.

2.      Uganda Communications Commission should enforce its regulatory function over telecommunication companies to prohibit them from passing on phone users` data/ information.

3.      Telecommunication companies should strictly implement their internal privacy and data protection policies including controlling and regulating whoever has access to it;

4.      Private persons; investigators, security agencies should respect the right to private information of citizens

5.      Government should expedite the legislative processes for the enactment of a Privacy and Data protection law;

Thank you

Sign petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/uw-petition-a-call-to-ucc-to-prevail-over-2

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