Tz warns telecom companies over disclosure of clients’ information

09Jun 2021
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Tz warns telecom companies over disclosure of clients’ information

​​​​​​​THE government has cautioned telecommunication companies in the country to improve on customer care services and protect customers’ information, threatening to take serious measures  for those who disclose such information.

​​​​​​​Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dr Faustine Ndugulile.

Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dr Faustine Ndugulile made the statement here in a meeting with senior executives of telecommunications companies, to discuss key issues towards the sixth phase of the border and regional telecommunications project.

He noted that there is increasing number mobile number conmen who seems to know clear details of customers including the amount of money in their mobile money accounts.

“ It is not possible for any person who do not have access to customers information to know all the details of the customers” he said, adding that there must be collusion between telecom company workers and conmen.

Ndugulile  urged the companies to review their administration by identifying employees who have been collaborating with malicious citizens to disclose their customers' details without official approval.

It is here that the minister informed that, the government was preparing a data protection act aimed to control cyber criminals. In addition, he said during this transitional period, telecommunication companies should put in place a strong system to ensure that no one provides co-operation to criminals.

However, in order to expand the telecommunications scope in the country, the government had built a 7610 km national (ICT) backbone while construction of another 409 km backbone was underway.

Also, 1880 kilometers (national ICT backbone) are expected to be built next year after being approved in the budget of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

"I believe that this will be your main route that will help you get the communication across," said Dr Ndugulile.

He said the government had expanded and successfully connected East and southern Africa to Tanzania, with the exception of Mozambique where in the ongoing 409 km work, it will be connected while feasibility studies continue on how to connect DR Congo.

He said the aim was to ensure that Tanzania also became a communication hub for the East and Southern African region.

He also used the meeting to remind senior executives of mobile operators that the government had started monitoring the issue of unregistered telephone lines through biometric fingerprints and that those found to be closed will be closed.

At the same time, Dr Ndugulile said the ministry was announcing a sixth phase tender that focused on cross-border communication. This had been a great tragedy and so the government decided to respond.

Following the situation, technical director from Vodacom Tanzania, Andrew Lupembe, said the company was ready to work with the government to ensure that the telecommunications service achieved its goals.

"Communication services are everyone's right so, we are with the Government in achieving this," said Lupembe

The representative of Airtel Tanzania, Dr Prosper Mafole said they were ready to work with the government in improving the telecommunications service in the country and that certain places lacked a source of power, which he termed as a challenge.

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