The Parliament plans to oblige Ukrainian subscribers to go through an identification process — BRDO finds it unacceptable

03-09-2021

Recently, the Parliament Committee on Digital Transformation has published a draft law amending the Law of Ukraine “On Electronic Communications” regarding the identification of users of electronic communications services for discussion.

The draft law stipulates that mobile subscribers should be subject to forced registration by the operator, otherwise they will not receive mobile services. That is, users lose the right to receive mobile services anonymously and are obliged to provide their personal data to mobile providers. If subscribers refuse to register, from January 1, 2025, mobile operators will be obliged to suspend and then stop providing mobile services to users who have not entered into a written contract or have not been identified by the provider.

BRDO experts analyzed the draft law and consider it unacceptable, as it contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine and current legislation, as well as limits the rights and freedoms of citizens provided by law.

The provisions of the draft law are similar to those adopted by the “dictatorship laws of January 16” and those contained in the draft law “On Electronic Communications” (registration #1083). It was submitted by MPs who were members of the Parliamentary Committee on Digital Transformation and was withdrawn in 2019, in particular, due to conflicting provisions on compulsory registration of subscribers.

Both cases have shown that such legislative initiatives provoked strong public opposition while being perceived as restrictions of rights and freedoms. The Ukrainian legislation does not provide and has not provided for any restrictions on the rights of consumers to anonymized receipt of telecommunications services. The Law “On Telecommunications” (para. 16, part 1, Article 32) contains provisions on the anonymized provision of services. The Law of Ukraine “On Electronic Communications” (part 5, Article 104) directly establishes the right of end-users to receive the service in the anonymized form under the rules of provision and receipt of electronic communications services and terms of services established by the provider. Moreover, Art. 22 of the Constitution of Ukraine directly indicates that it is unacceptable to limit the nature and scope of current rights and freedoms when drafting and adopting new laws or amending existing ones.

BRDO experts believe that the above-mentioned legislative initiative is unacceptable as it limits the rights and freedoms provided by law and contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine, so they officially appealed to the relevant committee.

We hope that this legislative initiative will not be supported by parliamentarians.

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