crime, fingerprint, mobile, Pakistan, Telecom, telephone

Pakistan may require a fingerprint check to purchase a cell phone

Pakistan is considering requiring a fingerprint check as part of the process of 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 would want to do this, most related to making it easier (or even possible) to investigate crime. Mobile phones are critically important tools in such criminal enterprises 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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