CA vouches for new SIM card rules to protect users
Kenya is looking to amend laws on the registration of SIM cards to combat growing trend where criminals are using stolen ID cards to register lines with intent to commit crimes.
The Communication Authority has issued a public notice seeking public views on proposed Kenya Information and Communications Regulations.
"Pursuant to Regulation 4 of Kenya Information and Communications Regulations, 2015, the authority hereby proposes new guidelines meant to enhance clarity in SIM Card registration processes and provide accountability,'' CA said in the notice.
According to proposed regulations, if one fails to register identification particulars of his/her card within ninety days, it will be suspended and deactivated.
“A person who commits an offense under these Regulations for which no specific penalty has been provided in the Act shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both,” the proposed regulations state.
The authority has also demanded details of agents and sub-agents that deal in sales and subscriber registration on behalf of operators, their company registration details, number of outlets and locations in which they operate.
A forensic audit by the regulator shows majority of SIM cards with non-conformity are registered using passports as a form of identification and alien identification cards.
According to the report, a number of agents do not request for identification documents at the point of purchase of the SIM cards.
In instances where they request for ID, the agents do not verify the identities of SIM card buyers against the documents presented.
With each telco trying to increase subscriptions, there has been a growing number of SIM card hawkers with some even charging buyers an additional fee for registration.
New rules are also expected to solidify security in the country's robust mobile money where users are highly susceptible to fraud.