Uganda is among the top 15 countries with the worst sim-card registration policies, Comparitech a technology research company in England and Wales has revealed.
Uganda scored 15 points out of a possible 21 – the same as North Korea, a country known for trampling on the privacy of its citizens. The lower the points the better the policies of a country with 21 being the poorest. Uganda's sim-card registration policy is only better than Tanzania's and Saudi Arabia's - the lowest-ranked countries.
Uganda's policy requires all its citizens to register all their sim-cards and one individual can use up to ten cards. Whereas the researchers found that Uganda doesn’t restrict the number of sim-cards used and enforces the requirement of a warrant to access customer data, the country’s poor score is due to its biometric checks for sim-card registration.
Also, researchers were critical of country’s capture and validation system, its lengthy storage retention laws where data collected can be retained for at least 5 years after a contract for use of the card is terminated. Tanzania scored 19 points, ranking the worst country with poor registration policies.
Researchers said data in Tanzania isn’t protected with storage limitations and with no data protection law in place, this leaves subscribers’ data open to various vulnerabilities. Dar Es Salaam also fines those who don’t comply with the registration laws.
Kenya and Rwanda were ranked favourably and are not among the top 15 countries with poor sim-card registration policies. Last year, Uganda passed The Data Protection and Privacy Act 2019, tasking collectors to adopt appropriate, reasonable, technical and organizational measures to prevent loss, damage, or unauthorized destruction and unlawful access to or unauthorized processing of the personal data.
Uganda started a mandatory sim-card registration in 2012, majorly to fight crime.