FALSE

FACT CHECK: Does Safaricom allow NIS to illegally forward your calls?

Service is not secret security intelligence gathering technic but a call notification service.

In Summary

• The call notify service allows subscribers to be notified by means of an SMS of people who tried to call them while they were either busy, had their phone off, or were out of coverage.

• The subscriber receives a message of  ‘I tried calling you, how many times and the specific time’ once he/she is available.

A social media post claiming that telco Safaricom has allowed National Intelligence Service (NIS) to illegally forward your calls is false.

The post largely forwarded on Whatsapp platforms reads “Safaricom allows NIS to illegally forward your call to 0722188188 against your right to privacy… To check if your call has been forwarded dial *#62#”

Upon dialling the USSD code *#62#, it pops a message informing you that you have been enrolled to Call forwarding services.

The post further instructs its readers to dial ##62# to remove forwards.

On dialling ##62# the USSD code pops a message showing that you have opted out of the call notify services.

Investigation on the claims shows that in a 2017 post on Twitter Safaricom notifies its customers that the number 0722188188 is for Call Notify Service while 0722199199 diverts to Voicemail.

The call notify service allows subscribers to be notified by means of an SMS of people who tried to call them while they were either busy, had their phone off, or were out of coverage.

The subscriber receives a message of  ‘I tried calling you, how many times and the specific time’ once he/she is available.

The service is therefore not a secret security intelligence gathering technic but a call notification service.

According to the company’s data privacy, your information can be disclosed to law-enforcement agencies, in response to a demand issued within the law and where the form and scope of the demand is compliant with the law.

Other parties that you sign to agree to access your information are subsidiaries, associates, partners, software developers, or agents who are involved in delivering Safaricom products and services you order or use.

Fraud prevention and Anti-money laundering agencies, credit reference agencies, debt collection agencies, survey agencies that conduct surveys on behalf of Safaricom, emergency service among others.

The Star concludes the post is false.

This story was produced by The Star in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.