Telecoms Regulation

Uganda And Tanzania Condemned For SIM Card Registration Policies -Report

A report by the UK-based pro-consumer website Comparitech alleges that Uganda and Tanzania have in place some of the world’s harshest SIM card monitoring policies.

Based on a scoring metric of 0 – 21 (used to evaluate policy portfolios from strongest to weakest), Tanzania scored 19, while Uganda was scored 15.

The report names Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi among the African countries with good SIM card monitoring policies. Kenya was scored 12 points, Rwanda got 11 points, and Burundi was graded 9 points.

Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) each scored 8 points.

Uganda and Tanzania have rolled out biometric SIM card registration, and the relevance of this process is reflected in parts of the report.

An excerpt of the report states that creating a database of subscribers and their mobile numbers restricts private communication and risks private data falling into the wrong hands.

According to the report, Tanzania received the worst rating because it allows individuals to register up to eight SIM cards from various service providers and the country’s law enforcement has no invasive interception tools, even though they can access data without a warrant.

Andrew Makanya, a telecoms analyst at the Computer Association of Zambia, agreed with the report but added that there isn’t anything nothing wrong with authorities carrying out biometric SIM card registrations if the aim is purely to protect citizens from fraud and cybercrime activities.

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