Utilities body warns against ‘spamming’ mobile phone users

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is advising businesses that solicit and share consumers’ mobile numbers to others to facilitate advertisements being sent to them to immediately desist from this practice as it is an invasion of privacy.

The PUC said it has been in receipt of complaints from cellular phone users who have been inundated by a wave of unsolicited mails and short messages on their hand-sets from companies/persons with whom they have not shared their mobile numbers.

There seems to be the practice among some businesses to share consumers’ mobile numbers among themselves seeking to facilitate any member of the group to push advertisements to the consumers’ mobile phones, the PUC said in a press release.

“It is not unknown that certain groups are set up to solicit advertisements for a fee and ‘spam’ them off to unsuspecting consumers,” the agency said, adding that this type of practice is known as a ‘domestic spam attack.’ The PUC advises that this practice constitutes an invasion of privacy which in other jurisdictions is a criminal offence.

The PUC further notes that if this practice continues it will petition the authorities to enact the necessary legislation to deal with it.



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