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After Australia Ghana Is Next To Suffer Because Of Shambolic Implementation: Sam George Warns

Even as the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu continues to dangle the threat of a mass sim deactivation after tomorrow's deadline, I would want to once again reiterate the call for circumspect, logical reasoning in the next steps to be taken. 

The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation Ghana and the National Communications Authority Ghana must bear in mind that the very Legislative Instrument they claim empowers them to use only the Ghana Card as the sole registration document (L.I. 2111) is explicit in regulation 7 that only the national identification authority is authorized to verify the identity of persons seeking verification of identity in any transactions requiring authentication. 

It is instructive to note that the NCA through its directives to the MNOs ( MTN Ghana, AirtelTigo Ghana, Vodafone Ghana ) has flouted the law in proceeding to collect fresh biometric data of citizens using a third party. Regulations 9(3) of L.I. 2111 makes it clear that it is again only the NIA that "may by notice published in a Gazette specify the types of instruments approved as portable identity card readers for these Regulations". 

Are the devices been used by the MNOs for the collection of citizens' biometric data approved by the NIA? The answer is no. 

This has become even more important to raise at this time because of the 'biggest leak' of confidential citizens' data in Australia this past few hours. That breach was not a sophisticated attack but a result of a simple lack of requisite security infrastructure around the holding of such critical personal information. 

Is Ghana the next to suffer the same because of the shambolic implementation of a not complex public policy? Have we exposed Ghanaians to the grave danger of identity theft and fraud by way of incompetence on the part of the policy maker and timid acquiescence on the part of industry players fearing harsh sanctions for standing up for what they know is right?

The Ministry, the Regulator, and the Service Providers are all complicit in this almost criminal abuse of our laws and unjust treatment of the Ghanaian people. 

We certainly deserve better leadership.

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Australia Ghana MNOs Sam George Warns Vodafone Ghana


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