Telenor to provide support for customers of former Myanmar unit

Telenor to provide support for customers of former Myanmar unit

Telenor's logo is seen in central Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Marko Djurica/File Photo

Norway’s Telenor said on Friday it is exploring ways to provide support to Myanmar telecom users facing digital security risks after its exit from the Southeast Asian nation this year.

Following a military coup in Myanmar in 2021, Telenor announced the sale of its business there to avoid European Union sanctions after pressure from the junta to activate intercept surveillance technology.

Telenor completed the exit despite criticism from employees in Myanmar as well as from activists who said the handover could put the data of 18 million people within reach of the ruling military.

The company on Friday said it had signed a “preliminary memorandum of understanding” with 474 civil society groups under an OECD complaint procedure, agreeing to jointly select an independent researcher to conduct a risk study.

“Following the completion of the independent digital risk study, Telenor has committed to support the implementation of the follow up actions recommended by it,” the company said in a statement.

This will include an exploration of how a digital security relief mechanism could be set up in the near term with the aim “of providing support to Myanmar citizens who are facing risks and impacts associated with their digital footprint”, it said.

The goal is to reach full agreement by the end of 2022, Telenor and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, which represents the 474 civil society organisations, said in a joint statement.


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