The National Communications Authority (NCA) has said it has noted, “with great concern”, the spate of consumer complaints regarding the receipt and management of Unsolicited Electronic Communications (UECs), popularly referred to as unwanted calls and text messages.
A statement issued by the NCA said: “With the government’s strides in digitalisation and e-government, it is imperative for telecommunication consumers to have a sanitised space to ensure that they are able to notice important messages they have subscribed to”.
Consequently, the guidelines for the management of UECs, which had been in place since 2014, has been withdrawn effective 1 August 2021.
Additionally, the NCA, in collaboration with the Data Protection Commission (DPC), has directed all service providers to be guided by section 50 of the Electronic Transactions Act, 2008, Act 772 and ensure that they transmit text messages to only consumers who have consented to a given service.
It said consumers, on the other hand, are to take note of the following:
- Be cautious about who, where, and how you share your telephone number(s). · Do not share your telephone number(s) with strangers;
· Do not provide your telephone number(s) at public events where there are no disclaimer notices openly published with regard to your data/information.
- Read and understand the Terms & Conditions of services before subscribing to them.
- Whenever you receive messages that you have not consented to, firstly, report to your service provider.
- Where your service provider continues to send you unconsented or unwanted messages after reporting to them, kindly report the issue to the NCA on 0307011419 or toll-free 0800110622. You may also contact us through our social media platforms
and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NCA assured the general public that it will continue to implement measures to sanitise the communications space and also safeguard the rights of consumers.
The National Communications Authority was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 524 in December 1996, which has been repealed and replaced by the National Communications Authority Act, 2008 (Act 769).
The Authority is the statutory body mandated to licence and to regulate electronic communication activities and services in the country.