Hi there. It’s Brady.
Before a coup took place in February 2021 and the Myanmar military removed civilian government leaders from office, the country had a tech scene that was developing healthily.
Fintech applications were being picked up by users, the convenience offered by various forms of app-based on-demand services were taking hold, and we were seeing the natural progression of tech changing consumer habits, as it has done in so many other emerging economies.
All of that was possible because of cheap, relatively stable internet connections that were becoming available in more and more places in Myanmar. One of the providers of this utility is Telenor Myanmar, which is being sold to Lebanese investment holdings company M1 and Shwe Byain Phyu, a conglomerate with ties to the military.
This has upset Telenor’s customers in Myanmar, because they worry that their data will be used against them by the powers that be. Rights groups have spoken out against Telenor Myanmar’s arrangement. The discontent has been escalated to a legal complaint in Norway.
Legal frameworks aside, this is a story about the limitations on a person’s control over the data they generate as a customer. The consequences are much more serious when a general populace is at odds with its government. Stephanie is following the case. You can read her article here.
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