Communications Authority to audit telcos' systems in new SIM law

Communications Authority of Kenya headquarters in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) will now have the mandate to access the systems of mobile network operators to audit for compliance to SIM card registration laws. 

This is according to the draft Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of Telecommunications Service Subscribers) Regulations, 2022 that spell out requirements for mobile network operators and subscribers in the registration of SIM cards.

"A telecommunications operator shall grant the authority’s officers access to its systems, premises, facilities, files, records and other data to enable the authority inspect such systems, premises, facilities, files, records and other data for purposes of ensuring compliance with the Act and these Regulations," state the regulations. 

The regulation revokes the Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of Telecommunications Service Subscribers) Regulations, 2015 and lists documents and details operators will require from adults and minors seeking SIM card registration

These include a National ID card, waiting card, birth certificate, passport, foreign national certificate, refugee card or a CR 12 in the case of a corporate registration.

Registration officials will fill in the full name, child's name and age in the event of a minor, gender and current physical address including the county, estate and ward.

While the regulations do not mandate telcos to collect biometric data or photo IDs, the subscriber registration forms contain fields for filling in the type of bio-metric data collected. 

The new regulations also limit each subscriber to a maximum of 10 SIM cards and subscribers will now be able to report those suspected of registering their lines using false information.

If passed, individuals who suspect someone has provided false information during registration can report them to the authority and request the regulator to deactivate the subscriber.

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