June 20, 2013 -
Saudi Call Company, along with a separate unnamed French company are looking to file an integrated study into the use of fingerprint verification for SIM card sales in Saudi Arabia.
According to a report in Arabnews.com, this system would replace the current procedure which requires registering a residence permit. The new system would also look to link up with the Communicatoin and Information Technology Commission.
The sales of SIM cards are increasingly being scrutinized, and biometric verification of the user is a popular solution. As the Arab News reports, a black market for the sale of SIM cards has emerged, and it is illegal to buy a SIM card knowing it is registered to a different user.
Saudi Call Company certainly isn’t the first to consider fingerprint verification. Reported previously, BIO-key International has recently announced that SW Global, a provider of Information Technology Services throughout Africa, will implement the company’s fingerprint biometric technology as a part of a Nigerian Communications Commission objective to enroll and verify SIM card purchasers in the country.
There has also been a long-standing saga regarding the implementation of biometric verification devices in Pakistan, also to verify purchasers of SIM cards. Set to be mandated earlier this year, administrative issues have stopped progress on this plan.
Initially, Pakistan’s Interior “Minister Rehman Malik said unregistered phones and motorcycles have become “instruments for terrorists to unleash violence,” leading to the SIM card biometric verification mandate.