Kenya telecoms giant sued over ‘data breach’

Istanbul, Turkey - September 18, 2015: Apple Iphone 6 screen with social media applications of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Instagram, Whatsapp, Periscope, Perisfind, Linkedin, Youtube, Viber, Messenger, Periscope, Find Friends.


Kenya’s biggest mobile service provider Safaricom is being sued for allegedly violating the data privacy of its 11.5 million consumers.

A subscriber has accused the telecom giant of exposing his sports betting history and biodata, according to a legal petition filed at the High Court in the capital, Nairobi.

The complainant is seeking 1bn Kenyan shillings ($10m; £7m) compensation for damages for the alleged data leak.

According to the court documents seen by the BBC, the petitioner says he was approached by an individual who had subscribers’ data.

The data was specific to gamblers who had used their Safaricom mobile numbers on various betting platforms registered in the country.

The personal data contained specific identifying details of customers including: full names, mobile phone numbers, gender, age, identity numbers, passport numbers as well as total amounts gambled.

The petitioner accuses Safaricom of failing to protect his data contrary to the constitution’s right to privacy and that it failed to act in response to the breach after he informed them.

Safaricom has not so far responded to a request for a comment.

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