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Telecoms top two to share client data with government for contact tracing

MTN Ghana and Vodafone Ghana will be allowed to share customer data with government officials to help track contacts made by coronavirus sufferers

An Accra high court has ruled that Ghana’s two main telecoms companies will have to share customer data with the government.

The judge, Justice Stephen Oppong, said in his ruling that it would go against citizens’ “overall well-being” for the court to stop telecommunications providers from sharing data with officials amid a pandemic.

“The purpose of the collection of the data is for the protection of the whole state of Ghana, even the applicant benefits” from that effort,” Justice Oppong said.

A private citizen had filed an injunction asking the country’s two biggest operators to suspend data-sharing with the government, saying that it breached domestic and international privacy laws.

President Akufo-Addo issued an executive order in March calling for providers to tighten their collaboration with the country, which reported its first cases of coronavirus infection on 12 March this year.

As of Tuesday 23 June, Ghana had recorded 14,568 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the Ghana Health Service COVID-19 microsite. These include 95 deaths and 10,907 recoveries.

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