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EI 63 Case: High Court Orders Government to stop collecting mobile phone subscribers’ personal information

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An idle Pixel handset shares 1MB of personal data every 12 hours with  Google, iPhone no better: study - PhoneArena
Privacy and Data Management on Mobile Devices | Pew Research Center

The Accra High Court has ordered the government to stop collecting the personal data of mobile phone subscribers.

In a 70-page landmark judgement delivered in Accra today (July 22, 2021), the court held that the President’s actions violate and continue to violate the right to privacy.

The court, presided over by Mrs Justice Rebecca Sittie, also directed the government to delete all such data and submit a report to the Registrar of the High Court within 14 days.

The court ordered Vodafone, the NCA and Kelni GVG to pay damages of GH¢ 20,000 each to the applicant.

The Case

It may be recalled that on April 6, 2020, Mr Francis Kwarteng Arthur, a private legal practitioner, went to the High Court to challenge the President’s order contained in Executive Instrument (EI) Number 63 as well as the manner in which the order was being implemented. EI 63 orders all telecommunication network and service providers to handover the personal information of all customers and subscribers to the President.

The President’s reason for making CI 63, according to the Attorney-General, was to conduct contact-tracing to control the spread of the deadly covid-19.

Since the passing of the EI 63 in March 2020, the personal information of millions of mobile phone service subscribers has been collected and given to a private company, Kelni GVG.

Counsel for the applicant, Dr Justice Srem-Sai, argued, among others, that “EI 63 offends the permissible limitation clause of the Constitution … and that the mechanism that EI 63 deploys is extremely disproportionate to the intended purpose.”

The defendants in the case are the Attorney-General, the National Communication Authority (NCA), Vodafone Ghana, MTN Ghana and Kelni GVG.

By: Mabel Aku Baneseh


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