Bangladeshi mobile network operators have started registering the biometric data of users.
It’s part of a bid to stop criminal activity, with the country’s government having launched the idea after hearing allegations that criminals were registering mobile SIM cards under assumed names, or else simply not registering them. The move is being spearheaded by six MNO’s in Bangladesh, who are working in turn with the country’s Election Commission to compare registrants’ biometric data against that provided on National Identity Cards. All new mobile users must register, and the same goes for any users whose SIM cards were purchased prior to 2012.
The move is unusual, but not the first in the world. After the tragic terrorist attacked against a Peshawar school last fall, Pakistan’s government mandated that the country’s major telecommunications operators must register the biometric identification of mobile subscribers. That ended up disrupting the telecoms’ business in a big way, but meanwhile India’s major telecoms have actually tried to pressure the government to implement biometric registration for mobile users in connection with that country’s Aadhaar national biometric ID system.
If the Bangladeshi example proves promising, we may soon see the spread of biometric mobile registration around the world as governments’ seek security against mobile-based criminal and terrorist activity.
November 16, 2015 – by Alex Perala