I know a number of people who value their privacy and feel highly offended when people give their personal details out to strangers. In this regard I have some friends who would  kill me  literally if they find out that I dare give their numbers to strangers. Then there those who change their numbers once they know their numbers are known by many. They want to keep their lives simple and private.

Personally as a blogger , things  are slightly different. My details are a bit public and you could easily get my number somewhere. But still I was highly offended when I started to receive campaign messages from people I don’t know. First there was this sms:

Asante sana watu wa kikuyu na kabete  kwa miaka saba ya kazi ya kujitolea pamoja kusaidiana.nimeongea na watu wetu wameniuliza nisimame senator ndiyo niwahudumie vyema zaidi. Naomba uniunge mkono na unisaidie . Nimejitolea. Tutafaulu. WAMATANGI KIMANI

Then there was this

 Kazi yetu miaka 7 Kiambu county;
-Tumesomesha vijana 7000 Computer,Driving na vitabu mashuleni bila malipo
-Tumepatia vijana 300 ajira kwa boda boda project
-Tumepeana tanki za maji 7000 shuleni, nyumbani, makanisa
-Community service vans husaidia raia
-Masomo kwa wakulima
Wamatangi Kimani Foundation-Tuko Pamoja@

They kept on coming. I blocked the number and Ignored the matter. My thinking at the time was that may be they had gotten my number from one of the  Mpesa agents or something. But when I got message from IEBC then I realized that it is Safaricom giving out my number to people I don’t know. IEBC is doing a good job urging people to go register as voters but nobody has the right to give people’s numbers to them without  consulting the  subscribers first. When I became a subscriber of Safaricom back in the year 2001, there was no agreement that they can give my number to anybody or any company. For that Safaricom is out of line to give people’s numbers to IEBC regardless of justification they think they have. I know you can stop the SMS by sending stop to 28683 but that can never be an excuse

It is time companies in Kenya take the privacy of the clients/ subscribers seriously. The word “consent” is clear and well defined,  I don’t want my number to be given out without being asked first.

With the registration of Sim cards, it means the network operators in Kenya already have all the personal details of people. How safe are people going feel knowing that their personal  information can be given out to any Tom, Dick and Harry? If it is the Government then they need to get court orders or ask the people concern for their permission.  It is time Safaricom, Orange , Airtel and Yu come out and  tell the public their policies regarding this matter.


Kennedy Kachwanya1079 Posts

--- Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.


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