MACRA’s Consumer Affairs Manager Ivy Chipezaani was speaking in Phalombe recently during a sensitization meeting involving District Executive Committee (DEC) members on consumer rights as regards to Telecommunications.
During the meeting, a number of concerns on the way mobile operators conduct their business were raised, one of them being on the insecurity of subscribers’ call logs.
Raising the concern, one of the DEC members, Louis Ng’oma, said he had noted in the recent past that some people managed to illegally access and abuse other people’s call logs despite MACRA’s repeated indication that it is a violation of mobile consumer rights.
Addressing the question, Chipezaani emphasized that it was very wrong for anyone to ask for a call log of another person regardless of their relationship, unless the subscriber issues their consent.
She however mentioned that the only instance where a third party is supposed to be allowed access to call logs is when the party is in possession of a court search warrant.
“The Police are typically the only entity that can access call logs of other people when there is a criminal case that they think would be solved by accessing the call log, and that is purely allowed by the law,” said Chipezaani.
Commenting on the issue through a questionnaire, Corporate Communications Manager for Airtel Malawi, Norah Chavula Chirwa concurred with MACRA, saying their company does not issue out call logs of anyone without a search warrant from the courts.
“Airtel only produces a call log upon submission of a Court Order which consists of a Search Warrant and an Affidavit. The Court Order outlines the information that is requested from Airtel and Airtel in turn, provides that information as requested. In no other circumstance is a call log obtained from us without a court order or search warrant as per legal and regulatory requirements,” said Chirwa.
MACRA has embarked on a sensitization campaign on consumer rights which is expected to see mobile network services consumers become more aware of their telecommunication rights.