By Daniel Edu
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced its intention to prosecute telemarketers who unlawfully obtain the telephone numbers of telecom subscribers for commercial purposes.
In response to claims that these telemarketers obtain telecom consumers’ phone numbers from the commission, the NCC clarified that this assertion is false.
The NCC issued a public notice titled “Unauthorized Use of Telecom Subscribers’ Phone Numbers and Other Personal Information by Telemarketers,” which was signed by Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC.
The commission emphasized that it strictly adheres to the principles and regulations governing the protection of consumers’ privacy in telecommunications services. It reiterated that no service provider or telemarketer is authorized to access, collect, or use subscriber data in any manner without the explicit consent of the consumer, except when allowed by law.
The statement from the NCC read, “The protection of the data of telecom subscribers by the Commission is guaranteed in Section 35 (1) of the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, 2007; Section 9 (1) of the Nigerian Communications (Registration of Communications Subscribers) Regulations, 2022; and Section 4.2 (a) & (b) of the NCC’s Internet Code of Practice.
“Therefore, any telemarketer involved in harvesting telecom subscribers’ phone numbers and other personal details through dishonest means and using such for commercial purposes without regulatory approval is hereby strongly warned to desist from his illegal act, as anyone found guilty shall be arrested and prosecuted in keeping with the law.”
The NCC encouraged telecom consumers to activate the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) short code introduced by the commission to manage their subscription to Value Added Services. This service allows subscribers to stop unsolicited text messages and other telemarketing offers by sending “STOP” to 2442 Short Code for FULL DND.
Furthermore, the NCC urged telecom consumers to report any illegal activities by telemarketers to the commission by calling the NCC Toll-Free Number 622. Such reports will lead to necessary enforcement actions.