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All telcos provided data for coronavirus contact tracing, no privacy breached – NCA

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National Communications Authority (NCA) has said that all telecommunication companies operating in the country provided data to assist the Ghana Health Service contact trace persons suspected to be COVID-19 positive.

The clarification comes a few days after a group calling itself STRANEK-Africa and a private legal practitioner, Francis Kwarteng Arthur, filed a complaint with Vodafone Group PLC in UK, the mother company of Vodafone Ghana over alleged breaches of his privacy.

Francis Kwarteng Arthur, is also in court suing the National Communications Authority, Kelni GVG, MTN and Vodafone Ghana, that he has cause to suspect that his mobile network subscriber, Vodafone Ghana, may have violated his privacy by giving out his details to the government without consent.

But the NCA in a statement said: “The attention of the National Communications Authority (NCA) has been drawn to some misleading media reportage regarding breach of privacy of consumer information.

The NCA would like to clarify that in March, 2020, we requested passive mobile positioning data logs from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for undertaking historical and current analysis of persons potentially infected with COVID-19 for contact tracing purposes in accordance with the Establishment of Emergency Communications Systems Instrument, 2020 (E.I. 63).

The Instrument required network operators or service providers to cooperate with the NCA Common Platform to provide information to State agencies in the case of an emergency including a public health emergency. All MNOs i.e. AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone, complied with the request for information which was subsequently processed and forwarded to the Ghana Health Service for contact tracing purposes. There was no objection by any Party in respect of COVID-19 contact tracing data request until an application for injunction order was filed.”

The statement ended by assuring consumers and the general public that there has been no breach of personal data and privacy in the compliance of MNOs to the requirements of law.

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