Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) should go slow on demanding de-registration of mobile phone SIM cards without ID photos

Plans by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) to deregister all active SIM cards unaccompanied with photo ID’s by April 15, refers.

While we welcome the initiative by the regulator to ensure safety and reduced ICT-related crimes, we advise the CA to go slow on the issue and only ensure any current SIM registrations comply with the requirement.

We equally caution Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) that they cannot apply the regulations retroactively. Any move to switch off phones that already complied at the time of registration, by the same MNOs, would be fiercely resisted by way of a class action litigation.

It is for the MNOs to offer incentives and or ensure that their existing customers comply. Any act that would be seen to forcibly compel the affected subscribers to comply will constitute a serious affront to consumer rights, and would attract legal consequences.

In any case the notice by the regulator for compliance by April 15, 2022 is too soon and most unrealistic. Thank you.

Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek), March 4, 2022

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