Court stops govt from collecting mobile phone subscribers’ personal data

The Accra High Court has ordered government to stop collecting the personal data of mobile phone subscribers because it amounts to breach of privacy.

President Akufo-Addo signed an Executive Instrument (EI) 63, last year paving the way for Kelni GVG, a private company, to request for personal information, including subscriber database, subscriber cell reference data, uncashed subscriber mobile money transfer data, mobile money merchant codes ad addresses.

This was in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and government argued that collecting personal information of clients would make contact tracing much easier.

But private legal practitioners, Francis Arthur who was not happy with the move, filed a writ at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court and joined the Attorney-General, the National Communication Authority, Vodafone Ghana, MTN Ghana and Kelni GVG as defendants.

In the ruling yesterday, the court presided over by Justice Rebecca Sittie upheld the arguments of the plaintiff adding, that the President’s actions violate and continue to violate the right to privacy.

The court directed government to delete all such data and submit a report to the Registrar of the High Court within 14 days.

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