Safaricom Denies Plans To Sell Location Data, Issues Clarification

Safaricom location tracking

Earlier on we reported on allegations that Safaricom was planning on monetising location data of their subscribers.

The news followed a now-deleted tender notice that Safaricom had placed on their official website, calling for providers of a location tracking and intelligent platform to bid.

This news sent a spiral of emotions as allegations of the telco using the system to monetise their subscribers’ location data emerged. However, the telco has spoken out revealing their intentions with the system.

According to a statement sent to Gadgets Africa, Safaricom tendered for an intelligent location tracking platform for internal purposes and not for commercial use. The telco states that they already use such a system, with which they have been blocking remote M-Pesa withdrawals if the agent and the subscriber are not within the same vicinity.

The current platform’s contract has expired and it is for this reason that Safaricom tendered for a new provider for the same.

“This is a location-based service, the current RFP solution has come to an end. The new RFP seeks new providers and this is purely for internal services including such use cases as vicinity checks for M-Pesa,” reads the statement sent to Gadgets Africa.

The statement seeks to put to rest fears that the telco is planning on deepening their pockets through cashing-in on location data, whether Kenyans believe the telco on this or not is a matter of public opinion.

Gadgets Africa’s Take

In our opinion, it seems unlikely for Kenya’s largest telco to sell user data of any kind. With issues of data privacy emerging every other day, it’s not the time for Safaricom to treat user data irresponsibly.

We know that Safaricom has been using some form of location tracking on M-Pesa withdrawals and we sure do hope that that’s all it is.

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  1. Intelligence tracking is in essence an act of espionage

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