ImpACT study forces action: Jordanian authorities pledge to require ISPs to protect privacy of customer data

ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies welcomes the announcement by the Jordanian Telecommunications Regulatory Commission that it will take swift action to remedy violations of customer privacy by ISPs in the country. The violations were identified by ImpACT International and Access Now in a report titled “Privacy Violated” released Sunday. It focused on five of the most prominent ISP companies in Jordan: Zain, Orange, Umniah, TE Data and Damamax.

These are great first steps, but It is important to go further. Accepting customers' complaints about contract violations is inadequate, since the agreements and policies themselves do not comply with basic standards

Maha Hussaini, ImpACT executive manager

In a statement on 12 November, the Jordanian Telecommunications Regulatory Commission committed to investigate the violations documented by ImpACT and take the necessary measures to protect the privacy of customers who rely on the ISPs to access the internet. The commission also called on ISP customers to file a complaint if they believe their ISP has violated the terms of their subscription, by calling 117000 (toll free), submitting an email to trc@trc.gov.jo or commenting through its social media accounts.

In addition, Jordan’s Ministry of Digital Economy & Entrepreneurship stated that it has already prepared a draft law requiring protection of personal information. The proposed law soon will be opened to public consultation.

"These are great first steps, but It is important to go further,” says Maha Hussaini, ImpACT executive manager. “Accepting customers' complaints about contract violations is inadequate, since the agreements and policies themselves do not comply with basic standards."

ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies calls on the Jordanian Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to require ISP subscription contracts and privacy policies to sate specifically what personal information will be saved, how it will be used, with whom it may be shared and what compensation customers will receive if these terms are violated.

ImpACT further calls on the Ministry of Digital Economy & Entrepreneurship to push for immediate enactment of the draft law, supervise and monitor compliance by internet service providers, and impose sanctions if necessary.