June 21, 2013 -
Biometric registration and verification for SIM card sales is really catching on. Just this week, Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said he is looking to make it mandatory.
According to a report in the Times of India, Kumar recently urged the home affairs ministry to make the practice mandatory for mobile service providers, arguing that competition in the sector has influenced laxity in carrying out physical verification. Kumar also said that as a result, distributors have been selling SIM cards to criminals and specifically, for Nigerian scams.
The Times of India indicates the department of telecommunications made it mandatory for a mobile service provider to physically verify applicants before issuing SIM cards.
Kumar wants penalties for those who don’t abide.
Reported previously in BIometricUpdate.com, Saudi Call Company is looking into an integrated study on the use of fingerprint veririfacation for SIM sales, as a black market for the cards has emerged.
An early instance, this has long been a debate in Pakistan as well. Early this year, the government mandated biometric verification, though telecoms and the government had a tough time finding middle ground on the issue.
In that case, the biometric verification directive came from the Ministry of the Interior, which ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to stop all cellular mobile operators from selling new SIMS and withhold the stock of SIMS from all sales channels.
At the time, it was reported that Nadra’s earnings from the mandate were being called into question by telecoms.