Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Ministry has condemned the publication of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) voters’ roll which includes addresses and phone numbers of the voters on the internet.
The Ministry said in a press release Cyber security breach is unacceptable.
“The ministry is aware that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission issued a protected copy of the roll while the one that has been published on the internet is unprotected,” the Ministry says.
“Such data cannot and should not be made public without the permission of the voters themselves.”
ICT Ministry goes on to says that it will not hesitate to take action against those found to be undermining the people’s right to privacy.
“Publication of physical addresses and phone numbers of voters without their authority is an abuse of the internet just as it is unconstitutional,” the Ministry says.
“The Ministry hereby warns those that are publishing the unprotected voters roll and the internet service provider hosting the site to cease their actions immediately.”
Although the Ministry condemns the publication of the voters roll on the internet, the government department also responsible for mobile operators did not comment on political parties using mobile network operators (MNOs) messages to reach out to the public during campaigns.
ZEC recently said that MNOs could have sold voter databases to political parties.
Econet Wireless responding to ZEC allegations said that the biggest mobile network operator in Zimbabwe does not give or sell any customer data to third parties.
ZEC used MNOs to confirm for voters registry confirmation to vote on 30 July national elections.
Zimbabwe has been creating the Cyber Security Bill which deals with privacy on the internet.
Fears among the critics have been that the government will create a bill that hinder citizens’ freedom of expression.