fingerprint, law enforcement, mobile, telephone

India to require fingerprints before issuing SIM card

Soon You Will Require Fingerprints To Buy A SIM Card (SiliconIndia)

To put an end to the unauthorized distribution and access of SIM cards by fraudsters, the home ministry has asked Department of Telecommunication to explore various measures to take biometric details including fingerprints by cell phone service providers before activating the connection.

India isn’t alone. Pakistan is considering a similar requirement for purchasing a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card as a way of more definitively tying mobile phones to their purchasers.

Nigeria implemented a similar system beginning in 2010.

There are several reasons that countries want to do this. Most are related to making it easier (or even possible) to investigate crime. Mobile phones are critically important tools in criminal enterprises such as ransoming kidnapping victims and organized robbery. Terrorists depend upon mobile phones both for communication and to detonate explosive devices: Tele-operators briefed on biometric system (The Nation)

“NADRA being the sole custodian of biometrics of over 96 percent total population of the country, has offered the biometric solution in the wake of Interior Ministry’s grave security concerns over the use of cellular devices in terrorist plots,” the spokesperson said. It should be noted that on December 1, 2012, the Prime Minister, after taking notice of insecure sales mechanism for issuance of SIMs, directed all telecom companies to employ biometric verification for SIMs issuance within two months’ time.

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