The Jakarta Post
Three civil society organizations (CSO) have announced plans to legally challenge the government’s mandatory phone registration policy, arguing that it compromised the safety of private data.
The Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers), the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) and the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) said they have compiled reports from mobile phone users who claimed their personal information had been stolen because of the program.
One user, for example, reported that despite having only one phone number, his family card (KK) and citizenship identity (NIK) numbers had been registered under 50 different SIM cards.
“Forcing or requiring [mobile phone users] to submit their personal data to their mobile provider, which is a third and a private party, without any [security] guarantee is terrible,” PBHI program coordinator Julius Ibrani told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
He added that a lawsuit against the program would seek to protect the personal data of mobile phone users.
“Giving our personal data to the government is all right because it has the responsibility to guarantee its security […] But the government can’t force us to give our personal data to a third private party,” he said.
He also highlighted the fact that the parties authorized to block unregistered prepaid mobile numbers were telecommunication providers, instead of the government.
The Communications and Information Ministry kicked off its registration program in October 2017, requiring all mobile phone users to register their phone numbers along with their KK and NIK by Feb. 28.
Users could either submit their data via text or at their respective mobile providers.
The Ministry announced on Wednesday that starting on March 1, providers will block unregistered mobile numbers.
Users will still be able to receive calls and text messages during a grace period until March 31, after which incoming calls and texts will also be blocked.
Should they fail to comply by May 1, all services on their phone will be blocked.