Brazilian telecom plans to register biometrics for full subscriber base in four years

Brazilian telecom company Vivo will register biometrics for its entire subscriber base within four years, a company executive told a seminar on digital identification and authentication, according to local publication Mobile Time.

Vivo Chief Security Officer Ruben Longobuco told an audience at an industry event in São Paulo that four years is the maximum time between visits by everyone in the company’s subscriber base to one of its physical stores, where facial images are now captured for every mobile line issued. Customers can opt out, but if they do so they are included in a separate group for closer monitoring to support the intention of the measure to reduce subscription fraud. Longobuco says only a small number of customers have opted out so far.

In addition to checking facial images against identity documents, the company will also compare facial images to a black list of known fraudsters.

Biometrics are used in numerous markets to prevent fraudulent SIM registrations, including Uganda, where a lack of biometric card readers disrupted telecom businesses earlier this year. Indian telecoms, in contrast, were recently blocked from using biometrics to onboard customers.

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