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Opinion: What will we leave behind to the next generation?

I wonder if our leaders of our time is considering their legacy and the aftermath of their decisions. Its like the constant breaking news, the steady flow of information and the reactions are more damage control, than actually policies for a sustainable future. Where the actions of today either creates more hostile environment or more fragile institutions for the next generation to gaze upon. Its like we should wonder, what we have to do. To be sure the kids of today, will have states and institutions that are considered good.

We can wonder if the states are built more for corporations and multi-national financial institutions and their needs over what the citizens need. We can wonder if the linear move of financial services is built for the multi-national corporation and their sophisticated tax evasions, which is legal, but still questionable by all parts of society. Because of citizens does so, they will be punished by late-taxes, while a corporation can create a shell-company and move the money like a saint.

We can really wonder what will be left behind, as the states are fragile, the military powers are extended and more countries are affected of violence and senseless killings. By both militants and by state sponsored armies. All of this are creating havoc and making the states weaker, while the injustice roam. Citizens are fleeing injustice and insecurity, trying to find shelter and a new home. While the riches nations are putting up higher walls, making it more dangerous to pass and making agreements on the borders. To stop them and even send them home into violence and possible death by association. This is all happening, day to day.

In many countries it is dangerous to be opposition. If you oppose the ruling regime, you will be arbitrary arrested, your family will be monitored and you might be assassinated. Your business will be taken over or destroyed. The elections are rigged and the appointments made by the elected officials are obnoxious. They are made for facilitating the parties and their cronies. Not to build institutions or departments to deliver services to the citizens, but instead its used for cronies of the leadership of the day.

So it seems like tomorrow is forgotten, because the latest burning fire is more important that thinking about the future. If we could avoid it or even try to find solutions to avoid fires. Stop the dry forests, find out why the temperatures are arising and all the other issues for the running fires. It has to be stopped. The reasons for the businesses has the ability to take out profits where they initially earn it and put it into accounts in Tax Havens. That takes away needed funds and state reserves to secure delivery of needed functions of the state. Which all costs from planning to delivering, from salaries to procurement. Everything has to be covered by the taxes and the revenue made within the state, therefore, when the corporations are allowed to move profits without taxes. They are initially using the state and citizens, while also shelving the needed costs of actually doing business in the state. Even if it is profitable today, it might be more costly tomorrow. As the bankrupt states, the initial degree of defaulting on loans and the interests pay by the state. Take away even more services and possible development of the needed ministries and departments by the state. It is an evil circle, which in the end, make it impossible for the businesses to do business, since the public cannot afford and the state cannot afford either. Since they are all paying down loans, instead of growing the economy with need for the products these businesses make.

If the leadership of today had cared and had thought it through. They would have had more mechanisms, would have had more secured definitions and actually built institutions with protocols to fix possibly tomorrows problems. Instead, we are trying to configure and find solutions again and again. We are trying again to fix similar problems, with lacking funds and times. We are having meager responses and lack luster performances. Where we are building up personality cults and armed generals as leaders, while forgetting why we have governments. The governments that are there as representatives and providers for our day to day lives.

Still, that vision is far fetched and also seems like pipe-dream. Where the states are more and more complying to multi-national corporations and their interests over the needs of the citizens. If not they are complying to the leadership or one single leader who control the state itself. The democratic values are dying, the benefit of representation is dwindling and the face-value of the government. The government is losing value, while the ones leading them is enriching themselves instead of serving the citizens. They are doing this, this way since they are obliging the corporations and cronies instead of serving them.

Is this the legacy we want to leave to the next generation? Is this the state of affairs, we want to be remembered for? That we let them take us and use us for our time and when we lived. That we didn’t build a better tomorrow for us the citizens, but to make sure the leaders and the corporations earned on our hard work and dedication. Its clearly somebody is compensated, while the rest is bleeding.

While we’re wounded and taken for granted. Should we react, should we question and should find ways to demonstrate our discontent with the current affair. As our state mind cannot accept being taken for granted and being used in the favors of people we don’t know and doesn’t represent us anyway.

We should about this and wonder, how can we recover and make they do? What can we do as citizens to get this back? Get them to represent us instead of them. Be for us and work for us and not work for them. Neither work for the corporations or the cronies, but work for us. That is not to much to ask for, but it wouldn’t be easy.

We have to work together and dismantle this. Because the governments cannot be traded-off and we be used only to vote before every term and then left astray. We cannot accept that the illegitimacy of the current state. With leaders disrespecting both their citizens and the state institutions to stay in power. That is how it is, but not how it should be.

I don’t have any solutions, but we have to start discussions and consider our ways. Think and find ways out of this mess. So we can leave a better world for the next generation. Not leave a world with leaders and states, where the citizens are disenfranchised and lost with few options. Where the corporations together with multi-national organizations are taken control, instead of the governments. That is not how its supposed to be with the civil service and the ministries/departments of our states.

We need change, we need something else. We shall not and should not accept to deliver this mess to the next generation. They never asked for this and should not have to work against it. We should deliver are better world to them and not leave a battlefield and a turmoil, while hoping we have given them the work ethic and the skills overcome it. Peace.

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Brexit: Key quotes from the Joint Report made by EU and UK yesterday!

Yesterday, the Brexit negotiations made some progress finally. The negotiations between European Union and United Kingdom, as United Kingdom are leaving the Union during the year of 2019. As that is happening, there are needed for agreements and deals to secure movement and trade between the continent and the island kingdom. That will not happen automatically, but has to happen with agreements between them. Therefore, after lots of months with no key movement. Yesterday it was finally something real that was delivered between them. Not that it has solved much, but it shows progress and need for continued presence of consultations to find solutions for the parties.

Union citizens who in accordance with Union law legally reside in the UK, and UK nationals who in accordance with Union law legally reside in an EU27 Member State by the specified date, as well as their family members as defined by Directive 2004/38/EC who are legally resident in the host State by the specified date, fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (for personal scope related to frontier workers, see paragraph 15, and for social security, see paragraph 28)” (EU/UK, P: 3, 2017).

This should at least give rest to all citizens if they are British or European, that their rights within United Kingdom is not revoked and he same with UK in the EU. This gives a leeway to the citizens of both EU and UK. They are safe and sound. There will not be a problem between them after UK leaves.

In the absence of agreed solutions, as set out in the previous paragraph, the United Kingdom will ensure that no new regulatory barriers develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, unless, consistent with the 1998 Agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly agree that distinct arrangements are appropriate for Northern Ireland. In all circumstances, the United Kingdom will continue to ensure the same unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the United Kingdom internal market” (…) “Both Parties will establish mechanisms to ensure the implementation and oversight of any specific arrangement to safeguard the integrity of the EU Internal Market and the Customs Union” (EU/UK, P: 8, 2017).

The Irish question that was stopped by a phone-call earlier this month shows how hard it was settle this text. Since the European Union, Irish Republic and the United Kingdom had to be collectively together on the agreement, that fits the paradigm of all parties. If it was the UK, Irish and the EU. That the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have secured their place, but at the same time. The Irish have made sure to make no troubles on the borders for now. This has been hectic for the Tories and United Kingdom. While the EU have followed the wishes of the Irish, since they are a Member State.

On ensuring continuity in the availability of goods placed on the market under Union law before withdrawal both Parties recognise the need to provide legal certainty and minimise disruption to business and consumers. Both Parties have agreed the principles that the goods placed on the market under Union law before withdrawal may freely circulate on the markets of the UK and the Union with no need for product modifications or re-labelling; be put into service where provided in Union law, and that the goods concerned should be subject to continued oversight” (EU/UK, P: 14, 2017)

Therefore, the United Kingdom, will even as they are leaving making sure they are following EU Law on Consumer and Trade, as they want to be sure that all markets and products still are on the shelves as they leave. This means, that the UK still will follow procedure and regulations from Brussels concerning corporations and labeling, all sort of economic activity. Since they will have to do this, to be sure to have imports and exports of all kind. If it is financial services or products themselves will be made sure to be there, even after the UK left the Union.

The ones that believed it would be striking difference between the UK outside of the EU and the ones inside. Are mistaken, especially when considering the first joint report delivered the public yesterday. Its more of the same, but some minor changes. When it comes to trading right now, they still have to comply to Brussels.

I didn’t look into so much the Financial Dispute, since that is already been discussed in the media and been into, as it is natural while ending a genuine partnership and membership, that you pay the obligations and the agreed upon years within institutions that has been built while being apart of the Union itself. Therefore, the texts there wasn’t that interesting. It was more significant, that the Market Place has to comply with Brussels. That Irish got their wish on the border, even if it not 100% Official, as it is still not binding agreement. It still shows how much the UK has given and how little they have gained with the meetings with the EU. Peace.

Reference:

EU/UK – ‘Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union’ (08.12.2017)

Bears Ears National Monument: Energy Fuels Letter to U.S. Department of the Interior – ” Re: Review of Certain National Monuments, Federal Register Notice of May 11, 2017″ (25.05.2017)

Brexit: Joint Letter from Arlene Foster and Martin McGuiness to PM Theresa May on the Irish Question (10.08.2016)

Brexit: DUP leader Arlene Foster – “we will not accept any form of regulatory divergence” (04.12.2017)

Opinion: President Akufo-Addo message on development is what the world needs!

Yesterday, the Ghanian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the Press together with the French President Macron. As he did this he asked serious questions about governance and development. Akufo-Addo proved with brilliance what many people are saying about the African continent, but isn’t heard from the people in power. Akufo Addo actually wants like all other sovereign states to be charging his own people for the services they are getting and not handouts from strangers abroad. That isn’t noble, that is Statesmanship and responsibility. As he don’t want aid, but trade. The President wants Ghana to make it on its own and with its own resources, instead of billing the tab from afar.

All nations and all presidents should seek this paradigm. His own words are powerful and it is needed, in times when states are either addicted to aid or borrowing funds at levels that are destroying the economies. These words and shift should be taken by all states who are used to aid. So they can prepare their citizens and their institutions to be built. So that governance and the government can deliver services to their public.

Addressing a press conference with France President Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s one-day working visit to Ghana on Thursday, President Akufo- Addo said African countries cannot continue to make policies based on the support the Western world can give. He said, “Our responsibility to charter a path which is about how we can develop our nations ourselves. It is not right for a country like Ghana, 60-years after independence to still have its health and education budget being financed on the basis of the generosity and charity of European taxpayers” (…) “We need to have a mindset that says we can do it… and once we have that mindset we’ll see there’s a liberating factor for ourselves,” he said. Akufo-Addo said the only way Africa can stop its young men and women from migrating to other countries to seek greener pastures is to put in place systems that work. “We want to have those energies working inside our countries and we are going to have those energies if we begin to build systems that tells the young people of our country that their hopes, the opportunities are right here with us,” he stressed” (…) “Our concern should be with what we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from being cup-in-hand and begging for aid, for charity and for handouts,” he said” (Ghanaweb, 2017).

I’m European, I don’t care what Macron said or wanted to say after hearing Akufo-Addo speech. It was powerful and needed. The words that is expressed and the needed shift is there. Not that charity or aid should automatically stop. But the world, the leaders and the states themselves. Needs to find their way to sustain and develop mechanism for collecting revenue and also tax properly services. Secondly, needs proper guidelines and institutions to sufficiently create growth and stagger inflation. Combined with investment in not only extraction and producing crops, but also create products with it. So that the state don’t only get the low value export, but get refined and developed products on the world market. That isn’t an easy fix and has been tampered-on ever since independence and the world order hasn’t made it better too.

Initially, the power lays in the hands of the leadership. In the hands of people Akufo-Addo and others. Who can leave behind institutions and markets, that can leave behind educated and industries that brings wealth not only to a chosen few, but to the GDP of their respective nations. While stopping the current fix and re-up of more aid donations and charity from European taxpayers.

I hope that the African leadership are listening to this and actually follows this. To be truly independent. Be developed and generate the wealth the African people deserve and the stability of institutions it also should create to prosper. Maybe, not leadership as western-democracies, but in states and elected leadership that takes responsibility and uses the skills and resources for the benefit of all citizens. Not only for corporate citizens, but all of them. Building states and building democracies where the people and state are working for a common-goal. The betterment and changing today for the future. Not awaiting handouts from Berlin, Paris or London. The Ghanaian republic deserve this, they deserve to handle on their own, all former colonies and former protectorate deserves this. Just like the European republics and kingdoms are responsible for their own finances and economy. They are not awaiting funds from China or US to save them…

The same we should wish to say about African state, who are begging for donors and loans to fill the void of own taxation and revenue. Therefore, the speech from President Akufo-Addo deserves credit, not because he is African and wants to get rid of the hands-out. But because he speaking the truth in general. Every single statesman on planet earth, should work for this goal, no matter which continent and whatever country they are running. It doesn’t matter, all citizens and states should work for this common goal that President Akufo-Addo speaks off. Also, European Nations that are struggling with debt and with deficit like Greece and Italy, should also work for this goal and not be saved by other institutions. This is a world-wide issue, not only on the African continent. Peace.

Reference:

Ghanaweb – ‘Africa must stop depending on foreign aid – Akufo-Addo’ (03.12.2017) link: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Africa-must-stop-depending-on-foreign-aid-Akufo-Addo-606111

USA: Sen. Angus King – “My statement on the Senate’s passage of the tax bill” (01.12.2017)

Opinion: The Tax Bill Passed in the Senate, shows the world who is important for the GOP!

The Republican Party and their representatives and Senators have now shown their loyalty to the donors like Koch and corporations who are supporting their campaigns. The Campaign funding and party is the reason for all of this. That the Corporate America get a say in Congress and pay-off their debt to the donors. This sort of activity shows that the voters and citizens now is second fiddle. The most important piece of legislation is that it grows the deficit, that the Democratic Party and Barrack Obama had to be wise about. While the Republicans themselves can risk the economy, because the legislation benefits their donors. While the citizens will pay more tax with time.

The CBO themselves said this mid-November about the Tax Cut and Jobs Act: “The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation determined that provisions in the Chairman’s Mark would increase deficits over the 2018-2027 period by $1.5 trillion (not including any macroeconomic effects). By CBO’s estimate, additional debt service would boost the 10-year increase in deficits to $1.7 trillion. As a result of those higher deficits, debt held by the public would increase from the 91.2 percent of gross domestic product in CBO’s June 2017 baseline to 97.3 percent” (CBO, 13.11.2017).

So the representatives and senators who voted for this yesterday are not only giving the corporation a giant tax-break and making for changes that are for the benefit of the wealthy. But at the same time the estimates are that they are breaking the state reserves and the gross domestic product. They are making the state bankrupt for the benefit of the wealthy. While they are cutting needed services and adding taxes on the middle-class and the poor. Draconian law if there ever was one. This is the opposite of Robin Hood. This is midieval and bourgeois of them. The Republican Party have no given all freedoms and liberties to the top 1 percent of the population. While the rest have to stagger themselves and with time pay more and more for basic needs. The only Republican Senator who voted against was Robert Phillips Corker of Tennessee. The rest was democrats who voted against it too!

Here is later in the month estimate by CBO, which is also damning to the results of this legislation:

According to JCT’s estimates, the largest revenue reductions would result from the provision that would modify income tax rates and brackets: Revenues would fall by $1,165 billion and outlays for refundable tax credits would increase by $9 billion over the 2018-2027 period. The increase in the standard deduction would reduce revenues by $654 billion and increase outlays for refundable tax credits by $83 billion over the same period, JCT estimates. Repealing the individual AMT would reduce revenues by $769 billion from 2018 to 2027” (…) “Repealing the Individual Mandate. The bill’s most significant effects on outlays would occur as a result of the elimination, beginning in 2019, of the penalties associated with the individual mandate” (…) “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027” (CBO, 2017).

So while the Federal Reserves are getting less taxes in, the same state also repeals parts of Medicaid and ObamaCare offerings to the impoverished part of the population. Therefore, this tax-bill is also hurting the public who needs substantial coverage and also medical support to able to afford healthcare. This bill is really showing the riches eating more and paying less to big-society, while the poor will suffer even more. Because the Republican Party only has the interest of their donors and their corporations who are lobbying and paying their campaigns. That is now evident with this votes and this legislation. As they have kept the whole piece in the dark and amended in the last minute. Even rewriting directly on the legislation with handwriting. Not having time to check the consequences or having reports on the possible deficits or even damage it does to the citizens.

That the Republicans are doing this with majority in the House and Senate. Shows who they obey, who they trust and who they serve. The Republicans don’t serve the public, they serve the donors and the corporations. They don’t represent the people best interests, but the Multi-National and Big-Business. They are corporate stooges who are making sure the ones who are donating to them are getting some well deserved tax-breaks later. The deficits and the loss of tax revenue combined with the added taxes later on the public. Doesn’t seem to mind the Republican representatives and senators. They are just following orders of the ones who are paying for their PACs and their SUPER PACs. They are just listening and following the guidelines given by the corporations donating to them.

Its hard not to see it differently, since this isn’t to make the American republic any better. This legislation doesn’t make any other sense. Than the Corporations are walking inside the State Reserves and getting their money back. Instead of paying something for their rights to do business in the United States. Soon the people are paying the corporations not only for their services, but also for their benefits of actually doing business there. They are getting both by the hook and by the crook. This is not a good look. It is a billionaires dream and not for the working-class, neither the lower middle-class. They are put into the shadow and used as pawns by the Republican party.

This bill is Koch Industry and Koch supported in many ways, but also other conservative donors wet-dream. They are so having a hard-on by this bill. Because of this mess, they are ready to nasty and nitty-gritty with the public. Finally they are having their pay-day and their pay-off for years of supporting and donating funds to these politicians. The Senate and House is now bought off and their ethical backbone isn’t there. These Senators and these Representatives aren’t free-thinking individuals, but they are only a useful tool for the corporations and lobbyist to get their will.

In the same effect written by Public Citizen recently:

““The alliance between the Kochs and the Trump administration on the Republican tax bill has become so strong that lines between Koch brothers and Trump administration efforts have blurred. That was the case in July, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a panel discussion on tax issues with Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips and the White House’s Marc Short. At this event and others, the Koch groups claimed that their desire was to “unrig the economy” by enacting tax cuts for giant corporations” (Public Citizen, P: 14, 2017). “The presence of so many Koch-affiliated political operatives in the Trump administration underscores how Trump has betrayed his supporters and contradicted his pledges to stand up for forgotten Americans against powerful interests. In an administration that lacks a clear policy agenda or expertise, Koch aides have been happy to fill the void with specific ideas to enrich corporate interests and harm the public as a whole. This agenda betrays the central idea of Trump’s campaign: that an outsider was needed to stand up for the little guy against the powerful” (Public Citizen, P: 34, 2017).

With this knowledge and going back in time, just a few months, you can see that the one of the biggest donors has been swaying the White House to change tax-policy in their favor. The irony is that all of this is betraying his promises. But all of the representatives and senators are following suit. Yesterday, is a proof of the control the donors and corporations have over the political elite within the Republican Party. They might have the same over the Democrats, but they didn’t vote this legislation in, the Republicans did!

It is their legacy and their decisions are now making sure the republic and the state will suffer. So that the state can give tax-breaks and tax-relief to the wealthy and businesses over the citizens. If you don’t believe it. Check the numbers, check the public oversight of who pays the PACs and SUPER PACs. Check who pays for campaigns and then check who gets less taxes from 1st January 2018. That is easily quid-pro-quo. Nothing else, this isn’t a masterpiece, this is vomit and disgusting misuse of power and authority for the interests of the rich. They not shielding the weak and poor, but securing their demise. Peace.

Reference:

CBO – ‘ Reconciliation Recommendations of the Senate Committee on Finance – As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Finance on November 16, 2017’ (26.11.2017) link: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/reconciliationrecommendationssfc.pdf

Public Citizen – ‘The Koch Government – HOW THE KOCH BROTHERS’ AGENDA HAS INFILTRATED THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’ (30.11.2017)

FinTech Companies in Kenya: Are now evading the personal space of costumers to provide them services!

Today, I will write about how international businesses are using their power and their markets strategy, while people are giving up their private communications and other vital information for simple transactions between family and friends, also when borrowing micro-credit or buying solar-cells through credit. This is all based on the Privacy International recently released report and the quotes are taken from there. It shows vital information taken from citizens who uses apps and financial services in their daily lives. Clearly, they have accessed certain freedoms for the trade with these Kenyans. The business transactions and the trade is not only making direct profits for the corporations allowing direct transactions, but also delivering services like payday loans and buying equipment. Still, it has a special price and they have to sign-up to give away certain aspects of their lives to gain this. That is what is interesting because it says something of how much of the personal space these corporations are getting from the persons they are profiting from!

The term ‘fintech’ has been defined by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as: “a dynamic segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology sectors where technology-focused start-ups and new market entrants innovate the products and services currently provided by the traditional financial services industry.” (Privacy International, P: 10, 2017).

Yet a change that has not been much explored is that M-Pesa also produces a vast amount of data for the telco Safaricom. Each of the millions of transactions that take place a year tell a story. They tell the story of how the small business is operating: the money they’re sending to their suppliers, the transactions that are taking place. But it tells other stories as well: the money that comes in and then is sent to the hospital. The school fees paid by the biological father, unknown to anyone except the mother, father and Safaricom. But there is also a way in which this data is known by third parties. The transmission of the content of the money transfers over M-Pesa is encrypted. However, the details of any transactions are sent, unencrypted, by plain SMS. Even if M-Pesa transactions themselves are sent via secure and encrypted means, the account information is not. The messages that someone sends for receiving or sending money include the name of the recipient (from the registration of the SIM), the amount sent, and their current balance. This facilitates the gathering of personal data by apps. The fact that the transactions can be tracked becomes a large part of the power of the lenders, as in the Kenyan example, leaves a trail via the M-Pesa SMS messages for both customer and retailer. As shall be illustrated, this is an aspect of M-Pesa of which fintechs are able to take advantage” (Privacy International, P: 29, 2017).

Tala App:

From the data provided by the app, decisions are made about whether and how people repay their loans. One of the key pieces of data is to analyse the content of SMS messages for the records of M-Pesa payments. These are very valuable records to analyse; for example, if the person seeking a loan has a small business, it is a good measure of the health of the business and the money entering and leaving the business. But, according to Tala, it can also be used to analyse how people are actually using their loans, as frequently the money they receive from Tala will leave someone’s M-Pesa account immediately (for example, to pay school fees or a hospital loan, or an individual). But the analysis of the data by Tala extends beyond this, to make analyses based on data and information that are, at best, unexpected to be used for credit scoring. For example, Tala analyses call logs: their analysis has found that people who make regular calls to family are 4% more likely to repay their loan. To do this analysis, they need to know who your family is: from the content of text messages that call someone “mama”, and the pattern of calls” (Privacy International, P: 30, 2017).

Branch:

One difference from Tala is that Branch also makes use of Facebook for authentication; as discussed below, this is allowed under Facebook’s terms and conditions. Another factor that Branch uses for its decision-making is the behaviour of your friends, and their repayment patterns for Branch loans. How does Branch know who your friends are? They have a refer-a-friend feature (as does Tala), which is one source of this data. But they can also see your Facebook friends, and your call log to know who is contacted regularly” (Privacy International, P: 31, 2017).

M-Kopa:

The data that M-Kopa gathers from the device via the SIM is information like location (using cell data, not GPS), the charge level in the battery, and what devices are plugged in. They will also soon be gathering data on the television programmes watched. This specific data on programming is not data that it is planning on selling, but rather to use to develop its own services in the future. M-Kopa’s website states that, “After completing payments, customers own the product outright.” However, the customer does not own their data. The terms and conditions of a M-Kopa loan make the company’s position on data clear: “M-KOPA shall have absolute and sole ownership of … the data which is obtained by the Customer’s use of the Device.” Customers have no right to even see their own

data, apart from the provisions under Credit Reference Bureau rules. For M-Kopa, it ultimately comes down to a business decision: “If data privacy was important for the Kenyan consumer, we would do it,” states Chad Larson, the Chief Credit Officer at M-Kopa. At the same time, both M-Kopa and its investors have a viewpoint that their use of data is ethical” (Privacy International, P: 32, 2017).

Control over the data:

A significant issue with the fintech companies in Kenya, is that they keep access to the data. They keep the data—and, in some cases analyse it, even if the user has stopped being a customer of theirs, and has deleted their app. Branch is explicit that it keeps the data even after a user uninstalls the app, and admits it is possibly doing further analysis on it, “we have that right.” Tala encourages people, even if they have been rejected for a loan, to keep the app; if they do delete it, Tala retains their data. This is so that, if the customer returns later, they can reinstall the app, go through some simple KYC checks, and be able to borrow again. M-Kopa, on the other hand, continues to collect data from the device even after the loan has been repaid” (Privacy International, P: 33, 2017).

Just as this reveals that Safaricom, the partly owned Vodacom Telecom Business have no trouble through the M-Pesa, the Cellphone Mobile-Money Transactions, that they can hold onto all information between all parts of the transactions. Like how a person send the messages of giving money to friend/family and at what point they picking up the mobile-money. This personal data is all incorporated into their apps, as they provide the services and keeps this fintech data on each of their clients.

As we see with the Tala App, which is also used to get loans. Tala analyses the personal SMS’s from the client to either give or not accept proposals for loans from their services. Tala are looking into the M-Pesa messages given to the client and are scanned by the app. To see if the client can actually be able to repay the debt possible sign-off from Tala. This proves that the Tala App is checking the credit history done with the services of M-Pesa, which is Safaricom/Vodacom. Branch another Fintech app is taking it further, they are also analyzing your behavior and who is your refer-friend on Facebook. They are clearly entitled to the private information of your networks before you get a loan. So they know exactly, who and when you contact friends and family on social media before giving you a loan. It shows how personal and how much information on app can get before you get the services needed from them.

M-Kopa are another one, who is directly saying that all information collected from their costumers are their to own and to use for later costumers. It can also be used after the usage. More of these Apps seems to do so. They are keeping this personal data even after the transactions, the loans and the purchase. This can be used to further get clients and knowledge of when the costumers need it more. So they can get them “addicted” to the services. We have no idea how they store this personal data or who they trade it with after gathering it all.

This should all be scrutinized and questioned, as it breaches with personal space collected with marketing and simple ploy to generate enough information to be able to gain the services from the companies. These companies are vultures of the costumers private space and uses it as leverage for their trade.

It is worrying how far they are taking it and how much personal information they are gathering to give them these services. Peace.

Reference:

Privacy International – ‘Fintech: Privacy and Identity in the New Data-intensive Financial Sector’ (November 2017)

Brexit: Guy Verhofstadt letter to Michel Barnier – “The European Parliament expects more on citizens’ rights and much more on the Irish border question” (29.11.2017)

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