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FG to Crack Down on Telecom Giants and Loan Apps for Unauthorized Phone Number Use

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FG to Crack Down on Telecom Giants and Loan Apps for Unauthorized Phone Number Use

In a decisive move to protect the privacy of Nigerian citizens, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a stern warning to both major telecom providers and loan app companies for their unauthorized use of people’s phone numbers in commercial activities. The Commission’s message is clear: anyone caught engaging in this breach of privacy will face arrest and prosecution.

The NCC, in a recent public notice, emphasized that the use of individuals’ phone numbers without their explicit permission is a direct violation of their privacy rights. Furthermore, the telemarketers involved have been making false claims that they received these numbers from the NCC or the national database of registered SIMs, allegations firmly denied by the Commission.

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“The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been drawn to the criminal activities of telemarketers who illegally access the telephone numbers of telecom subscribers for their commercial activities and gains. These telemarketers also falsely claim that they obtain telecom consumers’ phone numbers from the Nigerian Communications Commission. Otherwise, they claim that the Commission gave them access to the numbers through the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Database. These claims are not true.”

The NCC emphasized its commitment to safeguarding the privacy of telecom subscribers, citing various regulatory provisions that uphold this principle. They made it abundantly clear that no service provider or telemarketer is authorized to harvest or use subscriber data without the consumer’s express approval.

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The move also extends to digital lenders who have been actively involved in harvesting phone numbers for marketing purposes. These lenders, by default, have access to their customers’ contacts, which they utilize to promote their loan products. The NCC has taken a strong stance against this practice, recognizing that it infringes upon consumers’ rights.

To counter such privacy breaches, the NCC encourages telecom subscribers to activate the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) Short Code, allowing them to manage their subscriptions to Value Added Services and block unsolicited text messages and telemarketing offers. Subscribers can activate this service by sending ‘STOP’ to the 2442 Short Code for FULL DND.

Additionally, the NCC calls upon vigilant telecom consumers to report any illegal activities by telemarketers to the Commission via the toll-free number 622. This will ensure that necessary enforcement actions are taken against those found guilty of such practices.

The NCC’s actions reflect a commitment to safeguarding the privacy of Nigerian citizens in an increasingly digital world. It sends a strong message that unauthorized use of phone numbers for commercial gain will not be tolerated. With these measures in place, the Nigerian government aims to protect the personal data of its citizens and ensure that their rights are upheld.

Source: Nairametrics – NCC to Prosecute Loan Apps and Telemarketers for Illegal Use of Phone Numbers

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