‘We are not sharing your number’
Jamaica’s two major telecommunications companies, LIME and Digicel, are assuring customers that their numbers have not been provided to third parties in the wake of complaints from persons who have been receiving unsolicited text messages advertising goods and services.
With the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) indicating that the legislation governing the telecommunications sector does not explicitly address the issue of unsolicited text messages, subscribers to both companies have expressed concern that their numbers have been shared with third parties.
But in e-mailed responses recently, Digicel and Lime said that was not the case.
“Digicel respects the privacy of all our customers. As such, we would never share our customers’ contact information or other personal details with any third party company,” the company said in an e-mailed response to The Sunday Gleaner.
According to Digicel it gives its customers the opportunity to take advantage of exclusive deals offered by local companies. This is done through the short message service (SMS) in which Digicel sends text messages to its customers on behalf of businesses.
Digicel said customers who wish to stop receiving these messages may contact its Customer Care Centre or through the various online services including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and its web chat portal.
“However, opting out of receiving these messages also means that customers will not be able to participate in or benefit from special offers from Digicel such as promotions,” said the company.
For its part while denying that it is sharing its customers’ numbers with third parties, LIME said there are numerous ways in which unsolicited messages may be sent to its subscribers.
“Customers should only receive messages from services that they have opted in to,” said LIME.
“There are however some rogue providers of messaging services that we are not able to control because we are not able to determine the source or method by which the unsolicited messages are sent,” added LIME.
They, OUR has pointed to Section 47 of the Telecommunications Act which speaks to privacy of customer information and state that all service providers must “regard and deal with as secret and confidential, all information regarding the type, location, use, destination, quantity and technical configuration of services used by their customers”.
The section provides exceptions which include: disclosing information to the OUR, or pursuant to the provisions of any law for the time being in force which required such disclosure or prosecution of a criminal offence; or disclosing ‘such information with the written consent of the customer’.