PTA will start recording user data from public hotspots soon

By Shaheryar Ehsan on
March 8, 2019
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Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued a notification stating it will start regulating public hotspots to make sure service providers are following the checks and balances. It is doing this to facilitate the ISPs and for this, they asked for comments from all stakeholders last year and they have now prepared a notification entitled “Data Retention of Internet extended to WiFi-Hotspots Regulations, 2018.”

According to the notification, all public hotspot owners are now required to maintain a log of users for the last 12 months and for this purpose, PTA has introduced a mechanism that allows service providers to retain user data on their public network. PTA has also detailed that provision of internet services through a public hotspot is only for commercial use. Plus they will also ensure that the internet services are maximized to their full potential by restricting the range of services within the premises they are to be used.

In specific, the following information will be retained by service providers:

  1. Full Name of the user
  2. CNIC number/passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
  3. Mobile Number
  4. Date & time of login
  5. Date & time of logoff
  6. IP address allocated to the user
  7. MAC Address
  8. Internet Access Log e.g. Http, POP, IMAP, Skype, etc

In case of non-compliance, the services of the Wi-Fi hotspot will be terminated. The licensees must also comply with all the regulations and guidelines set by the regulator. What are your thoughts regarding this user data storage?

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