Feeds

Pakistani phone-buyers will need skin in the game with biometric buying plan

Plan to stamp out illegal SIMS will mean fingerprinting when bagging a new mobe

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Mobile phone operators in Pakistan have been told they have around a month to ensure all of their outlets are equipped with biometric thumb scanners, in a renewed bid to eliminate illegal SIMs.

The scanners must be installed by December 1st in Karachi and December 20th nationwide, the authorities decided last week, according to local telecoms site Propakistani.

The scanned thumbprint of the national ID card (CNIC) holder will apparently be matched with that held by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for immediate identity verification prior to purchase.

The government-backed Universal Service Fund (USF) is thought to be part-subsidising the cost of the roll-out, although it could be a tall order to get machines into the 250,000+ retail outlets, service centres and franchises selling SIMs nationwide in time.

However, commentators have apparently argued that the plans will only succeed in cleaning up Pakistan’s illegal SIM card problem if existing as well as new SIMs are verified and linked biometrically.

With mobile subscribers pushing 130 million in Pakistan, this would be a huge undertaking, however the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) usually gets its way when it comes to industry regulation.

It has forced the blocking of tens of thousands of web sites at a time in the past for religious and moral reasons and a year ago threatened to ban mobile packages offering cheap late night calls because they went against “social norms”.

The current biometric push, however, springs from a fear that untraceable SIMs are a national security threat because they can be used by terrorists to communicate and trigger bombs anonymously. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.