A Safaricom subscriber has sued the giant telecommunication company for what he termed as infringement to his rights to privacy and of other over Sh15 million subscribers.
Benedict Kabugi Ndung’u has filed a petition at Milimani Constitutional Court through Maina and Maina advocates seeking compensation from Safaricom over what he terms as infringement of his privacy.
He is seeking Sh 100million compensation claiming that the company has violated his rights to privacy as protected in the new Constitution of Kenya.
“I am a subscriber at Safaricom and from time to time I gamble through Sportpesa android application, using Safaricom mobile number,” Said Kabugi.
He wants the court to temporarily stop Inspector General of Police and Director of Criminal Investigations from requiring the production before the court of data from 11,500,000 estimated Safaricom subscribers confiscated on June 17, 2019.
“The court should order that the collected data should only be used by the parties in this matter only,” said Kabugi.
He claims that Safaricom being the leading telecommunications Network in Kenya,has a wealth of data flowing through its systems from millions of subscribers.
The man also want Safaricom to pay each 11,500,000 subscribers damages of Sh 10,000,000 each for violating their rights as in line with the Constitution of Kenya.
“I have filed this petition under article 22(1), 22(2) (b) 22(2) (c), 258(1) (2) of the new Constitution of Kenya Section 4 of the consumer protection act,” he says in his petition.
The petitioner has insisted that the data received and processed by Safaricom from its subscribers is private, protected and confidential under article 31(c), (d) of the Constitution of Kenya.
The article according to him guarantees the right to privacy, right not to have information relating to their families or private life unnecessary received and possessed by strangers.
“Safaricom is under a constitutional statutory mandate to ensure that the data received from its subscribers is treated in a secure and confidential manner,” he says.
He says that on May 18, 2019 he was approached by an individual by the name Mark, who had in his possession Safaricom data estimated at 11,500,000 Safaricom subscribers, the data which was exclusively for gamblers using Safaricom lines.
The 11,500,000 subscribers had used their Safaricom mobile phones to gamble on various betting platforms registered in Kenya.
The data in possession of the individual who approached him includes all the personal information of all the subscribers who gambles countrywide in different platforms but uses Safaricom lines.
All the details of betting platforms of which the 11,500,000 subscribers gambles with, the total amounts each subscribers gambles with, the location of each gambler endangering and exposing their lives to criminals.
The petitioner upon meeting the stranger with Safaricom data decide to report the matter at various police station within the country and was given an OB number which he has kept for prove.
He said he realized that the law enforcement agency was taking long to act on the matter and decided to visit Safaricom headquarters to report matter.
Shockingly on June 6, 2019 Benedict was arrested and taken to Director of Criminal Investigation DCI where he was forced to write a statement on data issues.
He was cooperating with the investigating agency but when the wing of investigators from Safaricom arrived, everything changed and benedict was detained at Gigiri police Station Nairobi County Kenya and arraigned at Milimani Law Courts and charged.
Initially Benedict cooperated with the investigating agency was able to produce two Safaricom employees Simon Billy Kinuthia and Brian Njoroge who were charged with demanding 300 million from Safaricom and interfering with the Safaricom data.
The two Safaricom ICT employees being charged at Milimani Law Courts Nairobi before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, confirmed that the Safaricom data was accessed, messed and interfered with.