Government Warns Against Sharing Phone Numbers on Social Media

June 20, 2024
Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) issued a cautionary statement on Wednesday, June 19, regarding the unauthorized sharing of personal data on social media.

The ODPC observed that Kenyans have recently been sharing personal information on social media without obtaining the owner’s consent.

According to ODPC, the shared data includes personal details such as names, telephone numbers, location, and information about family members.

Kenyans have increasingly taken to posting personal information of public officials, including politicians and police officers, particularly when they act against public sentiment.

Members of Parliament (MPs) have been particularly targeted amid the current discourse surrounding the Finance Bill 2024.

A segment of Kenyans compiled and shared personal mobile numbers of multiple MPs on social media, urging them to oppose the bill.

“ODPC has established that there has been a recent trend of consolidating and sharing of personal information (names, telephone numbers, location and details of family members) of a certain category of citizens through social media platforms,” the Commissioner noted.

Furthermore, the Commissioner noted that this practice has been occurring without the affected citizens’ consent, in violation of Article 31 of the Constitution of Kenya, the Data Protection Act of 2019, and its accompanying regulations.

“In light of these circumstances, the Office advises the public to abstain from sharing personal information that breaches individuals’ rights to privacy,” stated the Commissioner.

The Office urged anyone whose privacy has been infringed upon to file a complaint at: [email protected].

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