Protection For Mobile Phone Users Under Way

Ursula Owusu Ekuful

The Ministry of
Communications is in the process of establishing a Central Equipment Identity
Registry (CEIR) to track unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)
numbers of the various smart devices that are imported into the country,
Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu Ekuful has said.

According to her,
the Ghana CEIR would be linked to the international database to prevent the
trafficking of substandard, blacklisted or stolen devices into the country and
eventually prevent the use of counterfeit and stolen digital devices on mobile
networks.

This was made
known in Parliament Tuesday when the minister appeared before the House to
answer a question by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for
Assin South, John Ntim Fordjour.

Mr Fordjour asked
what measures the ministry was putting in place to ensure user privacy
protection amidst fears that a million units of inexpensive smartphones sold in
developing countries like Ghana contained preloaded applications that harvested
user data without the owners’ knowledge.

The minister
indicated that the system would ensure digital and social safety by providing
security against theft or devices and access to data by third parties.

“Unregistered
devices would be blocked after appropriate notification period” the minister
said, stressing that the obligation of government to uphold and protect the
right and property of citizens would be enhanced through the use of this
system.

The minister also
pointed out that the ministry was in the process of introducing comprehensive
cyber-security legislation and the establishment of the Cyber Security
Authority (CSA) to regulate the digital ecosystem in Ghana

“The Ministry,
through the CSA shall be responsible for cyber-security, research and
development to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities and threats in the use of
existing digital communication devices which will aid in sensitizing the public
on the blacklisted brands and devices to avoid”, the minister noted

She said apart from this, the government has established the Data Protection Commission (DPC) after the Data Protection Act was passed in 2012 to help protect the privacy of the individual and personal data by regulating the processing of personal information and provide the process to obtain, hold, use or disclose personal information.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr



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