State-owned Telco Fortifies Mobile App Security

Sep 18 , 2023

Ethio telecom fights back against mobile money fraud, restricting its Telebirr service to customers accessing their account exclusively from a sim card found in their mobile phone. The proliferation of digital devices has triggered an unprecedented outpouring of data where misuse is becoming rampant, stoking the demand for prudent regulation of the tech industry. The state-owned telecom announcement came after fraudulent reports have been on the rise amidst the holiday season. According to Getenet Fisseha, credit communication director, a rise in reports of customer accounts being accessed involuntarily prompted the move. "We had allowed the access for the sake of customer's convenience," Getenet told Fortune. Customers will not be able to log into the service from here on by merely using access to the internet instead having requiring verification via their phone numbers. In the last fiscal year, the telecom operator under Firehiwot Tamiru amassed annual revenues of 75.8 billion Br while its Telebirr application with over 34.3 million subscribers transacted 679.2 billion Br. Ethiopia stands on the cusp of a transformative journey towards digitisation filled with immense opportunities and significant challenges. In navigating this landscape, creating an environment where data is both respected and responsibly harnessed will be pivotal. In the absence of a robust digital policy that balances an open data ecosystem with the need for privacy and security.



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