Tefo Mohapi at iAfrikan raises some interesting questions about Truecaller’s idea to set up an office in Kenya versus South Africa.
The Truecaller Kenya MD Zakari Hersi reckons that they chose Kenya because if the usage habits, but the numbers on spam callers report by Truecaller show that South Africa, with it’s bigger market is a much more lucrative option than Kenya. South Africa is number 5 globally while Kenya is number 20. Egypt and Nigeria are there in between.
This ends with an argument that the reason they are avoiding South Africa could be the legislation there on data protection, something that is still in the drafts for Kenya, but is an existing law in South Africa.
In its current form, the Truecaller platform, app and processes flout some of South Africa’s current data protection and privacy laws as well as the yet-to-be-fully-implemented Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) in South Africa. These laws, should someone (e.g. a person whose details are listed on Truecaller without their knowledge, permission or being notified) lay a case against the company, could see Truecaller being fined millions of dollars in some specific cases should they be found guilty in South Africa, such stringent measures don’t yet exist in Kenya.