Don’t Give Your IDS to Strangers – Zicta Warns

THE Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority(ZICTA) has warned the public against allowing strangers to use their identity cards to register sim cards.

ZICTA consumer protection officer Edgar Mlauzi said the idea of registering sim cards was meant for each individual to be identified by their own line.

Mr Mlauzi said the authority had noted that most people were allowing people to use their identity cards to register sim cards including strangers.

“That becomes a security concern and it also defeats the purpose of registering sim cards. What if you help someone to register a sim card and they turn out to be a criminal?” he asked.

During a consumer awareness campaign in Mpulungu and Mbala, the authority discovered that the agents of mobile service providers were using their own NRCs to register sim cards.

In the two Northern Province towns, people mobbed the ZICTA stand to complain about phones they bought for K25 on a promotion from Zamtel last week but are still deactivated. Mr Mlauzi warned the service provider against taking aantage of the unsuspecting rural consumers by selling them faulty products.

“We are going to check if the phones in question were the type approved. We are also urging consumers to be vigilant with the terms and conditions of these promotions,” he said.

He said according to the quality of service guidelines, sim cards are supposed to be activated within 48 hours of purchase but wondered why the ones Zamtel rolled out had taken more than a week to start working. In Mbala, the authority confiscated 56 sim cards from an MTN agent Vincent Bwalya for being active but unregistered.

A veterinary officer in Mbala Benjamin Mtonga complained during a ZICTA public forum about internet bundles that are billed even when the network is erratic.

A Zambia Air Force officer at Samora Machel Airbase in Mbala accused ZICTA of being a dog that barks without biting and only reacts to complaints raised escalated in Lusaka.

But ZICTA head of consumer protection Katwamba Mwansa said the authority was firmly regulating the ICT sector but that its mandate would be enhanced with an input from consumers.

Mr Mwansa said the authority was actually targeting unserved areas, which was why the consumer awareness programmes were being undertaken in peri-urban areas.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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