Why Parents Risk Sh300,000 Fine Over Child SIM Card Registration

April 5, 2022

Parents could face fines of up to Sh300,000 if they fail to register SIM cards used by children under the minors’ names.

This is according to the proposed Child Online Protection and Safety Guidelines released last week. The guidelines require parents to provide the identity of a child when registering SIM cards to be used by the minor.

Currently, most parents use their credentials to register SIM cards for their children.

The new measures are aimed at protecting children from online risks such as cyberbullying, pornography, identity theft, and inappropriate contact with adults.

“Mobile phone subscribers are informed of the need to appropriately register their SIM cards and declare the intended subscribers of the SIM cards,” the guidelines released by the Communications Authority of Kenya said in part.

“Mobile service providers in the development of age-verification mechanism (should) ensure that all SIM cards that are to be used by children/minors shall be registered,” the guidelines state.

The new SIM registration regulations will enable the Communications Authority to develop a registry of children using smartphones in the country.

Parents or telecom firms that fail to abide by the registration guidelines could face a six-month jail term or be fined Sh300,000.

This comes as the Communications Authority prepares to switch off all unregistered SIM cards by April 15, 2022.

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