Saudi mobile phone subscribers drop by 3 million due to fingerprint registration

July 25, 2016 - 

A report by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) revealed that the number of mobile phone subscribers in Saudi Arabia decreased from 54 million in 2011 to 51 million in 2016 following the July 20th deadline for fingerprint registration, according to a report by

Earlier this year the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced it will fingerprint anyone looking to buy a SIM card as a security measure.

Meanwhile, both post-paid and pre-paid mobile phone customers will have a little longer to register their fingerprint data as the deadline for both groups have been extended.

The new law is intended to protect the personal data of SIM cardholders and prevent would-be criminals from purchasing mobile phones using fake or stolen identification cards.

The Saudi government said it will share fingerprint data with the National Information Centre in order to identify any individual who purchases a SIM card.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.