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Safaricom issues statement on data privacy amid abduction of Finance Bill protestors

Safaricom PLC has issued a statement today to address mounting concerns about data privacy following recent capture of anti-Finance Bill 2024 protestors.

An illustration of a phone showing its location
  • Safaricom PLC addresses concerns about data privacy in the wake of anti-Finance Bill 2024 protests
  • The company reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding customer privacy and adherence to data protection laws
  • The Law Society of Kenya condemns the abductions and demands swift and transparent action from the police and investigative agencies

In its statement, Safaricom reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding customer privacy, emphasising that it strictly adheres to the country's data protection laws.

The company clarified that it does not share any customer data unless explicitly required to do so by a court order.

"Safaricom notes the online conversations on data privacy. We respect our customers' privacy and adhere strictly to the country’s data protection laws. As such, we do not share any customer data unless explicitly required of us via a court order," the statement read.

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The telecommunications giant further addressed the current controversy by confirming that it has not received any court order compelling them to share customer information with any government agency.

This clarification comes in the wake of heightened public scrutiny and allegations that telcos may have facilitated the tracking of individuals involved in the anti-Finance Bill protests.

These protests have seen several individuals allegedly detained by state agencies, sparking widespread concern over privacy and surveillance.

Gabriel Oguda and several other social media activists were allegedly abducted in overnight operations ahead of anti-Finance Bill 2024 demonstrations.

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Others include X influencer Osama Otero, Drey Mwangi, Shadrack Kiprono, John Frank Githiaka Ernest Nyerere the Chief of Staff of the LSK President Faith Odhiambo.

These actions are suspected to be part of a strategy to defuse planned protests against the proposed taxes.

The incidents have sparked outrage on social media, with hashtags #FreeOguda and #RejectFinanceBill2024 trending as people demand their release.

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The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has issued a strong condemnation following the recent abductions of several individuals involved in protests against the Finance Bill 2024.

In a press statement, LSK President Faith Odhiambo described the abductions as a reversion to "rogue, irrational police force" tactics reminiscent of darker times in Kenya's history.

The society has voiced concerns over the police's brutal response to peaceful protests, noting that many vocal protesters have faced threats, surveillance, and unlawful privacy breaches.

The LSK revealed that another social influencer Billy Simani, alias Crazy Nairobian, had also been held incommunicado after being taken into custody on June 22, 2024.

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Simani's release was only secured after significant efforts from LSK members and other stakeholders.

Similarly, George Dianno was abducted in Nakuru and later released in Eldoret.

Despite these releases, the LSK remains deeply concerned about the fate of Dr. Ausitn Omondi, Dr. Ishmael, and Shadrack Kiprono.

The LSK has called on the public to remain vigilant and report any information on the abducted individuals' whereabouts.

The LSK demands that the police and investigative agencies act swiftly and transparently to resolve these cases and hold the perpetrators accountable.

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"This perpetual contempt by the law enforcement agencies must come to an end," stated Odhiambo. "We will unmask and take actions against these rogue criminal elements putting our police in ruin," she added.

The LSK continues to uphold its mandate to protect public rights and advance the rule of law in Kenya.

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