Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, has told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the central bank was not consulted by Vodafone Cash, a subsidiary of Vodafone Ghana before releasing the financial details of some its clients to government to aid in the COVID-19 tracing.
He said has also not given permission to Vodafone Cash to divulge clients’ financial details to any other organization.
Dr Addition made the statement when he appeared before PAC to respond to queries in the 2017 and 2018 Auditor General’s Report on the Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana, the Consolidated Fund and the Management and Utilization of the Petroleum Funds.
The Bank of Ghana by law has the mandate to license and regulate the activities of all mobile money operations in Ghana.
Mr Samuel Nartey George, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram during the PAC sitting had questioned the Governor whether the BoG was consulted and also gave clearance to Vodafone Cash to disclose their clients’ financial information to government.
According to Sam George, Vodafone in a public letter had stated that under Executive Instrument (E.I) 64 they released the financial details of some its customers to government to help in the COVID-19 tracing.
However, Dr Addison in response to question, maintained that so far as the BoG was concerned it has not given any authorization to Vodafone Cash to release the financial details of its customers to any thir- party organization.
He said the matter raised by Mr Sam George was a data protection issue and people need to understand what the regulations there allow.
Nonetheless, Mr Sam George insisted the Data Protection Act states that a person or organization that goes to any data processor, before they release any data they hold must do so with the express permission of the person whose data they hold, adding that if it is a national security they needed a court order to disclose that data.
He said the licensing regime which came into effect as a result of the legislation passed by Parliament gave the BoG the oversight responsibility to ensure detailed reporting of every transaction by the mobile money companies in the country.