South Africa: Open letter calling on MTN to improve transparency and human rights

South Africa: Open letter calling on MTN to improve transparency and human rights - Transparency

ARTICLE 19, and 8 other organisations, sent an open letter to Mr. Mupita, the New Chief Executive Officer of MTN to welcome him into his role but also invite him to dialogue with the community and provide guidance on how telcos like MTN can better respect the human rights of their users.

In the letter, we commend the commitment MTN has made to user privacy; but also show areas where these commitments do not meet international human rights standards. MTN has a poor track record of disclosures affecting users’ human rights as well as a continued lack of commitment to transparency. Moreover, issues remain where customer privacy is concerned.

The letter encourages MTN to adopt the following four key recommendations:

  • Publish regular transparency reports concerning policies on and actions taken in response to external requests, as well as proactive terms-of-service enforcement
  • Clearly disclose MTN’s policies for handling government orders to shut down or degrade networks
  • Provide greater disclosure about the policies and practices of MTN that effect users’ privacy
  • Expand partnerships and engagement with civil society stakeholders.

Read full letter

The letter was signed by Access Now, ARTICLE 19, African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms Coalition, Association for Progressive Communications, Centre for Human Rights in Iran, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Paradigm Initiative and the B Team.