The Communications Authority (CA) in Kenya is set to regulate Over-The-Top applications (OTTs) such as WhatsApp and Skype by having the online services submit data to the government.
In fact, the Authority found it wise to ensure that OTT service providers comply with the security and confidentiality provisions, “given that (they) are likely to gather their subscribers’ data and may not be domiciled in Kenya.”
The CA is concerned about foreign companies being able to access personal users’ information such as photos, videos, and contacts that WhatsApp has the access to. This is why it wants to impose some measure control, much like it does with the other traditional telecom products such as calls and mobile messaging.
This desire to be able to put OTT under control is not something new, and goes back to 2016. In fact, Joe Mucheru, ICT cabinet secretary, explained that the new policy, which was to be operational in 2017, “took into account the rapid changes in the sector while revising the National Guidelines for ICT Sector Policy from 2006, in accordance with the performance contract of the Ministry for 2014/2015 ".