A man in a neighbouring country recently made news headlines when he took a major telecommunications company to court for receiving unsolicited SMS. The outcome is yet to mature, but the plaintiff touched on a sore point.
Rwandans have not been spared the nuisance of unsolicited mail, especially from bulk SMS operators who bombard subscribers’ inboxes with irritating ads. It is another form of spam.
While service providers can inform their clients of new services via their data base, they have no right to share personal information such as phone numbers with third parties.
How do the mobile service providers explain the never-ending and unwanted messages from hotels, restaurants, government agencies and clubs that are jamming the subscriber’s inbox?
This behaviour has now been taken to an annoyingly higher notch; the phone rings displaying a strange four digit number, and when one answers, a computer-generated message requests one to like a certain musician by pressing the star key.
There is no way a bulk message operator can get hold of a plethora of phone numbers without the collusion of the service provider or insiders.
Personal data should not be used for marketing purposes without the explicit consent of the person concerned, and the law is very clear on that; it is an exploitative invasion of privacy.
Mobile service providers should plug their leaks, if at all they are, otherwise people will resort to the courts of law which could prove to be a nightmare for the operators.