Saudi Mobile Subscribers Must Register Biometrics

Saudi Mobile Subscribers Must Register BiometricsMobile network operators in Saudi Arabia must now collect the fingerprint biometrics of new subscribers.

It’s the product of newly implemented legislation drafted by the country’s Communications and Information Technology Commission, and reflects a growing trend around the world. Pakistan’s government mandated biometric enrollment for mobile subscribers as a security measure after the Peshawar terror attack of 2014, which was coordinated in part through mobile phones; and last year India’s biggest MNO decided to implement biometric enrollment of its own volition as a means of administrative efficiency.

While the CITC had first announced the idea last year, MNOs in the country needed time to prepare for such a dramatic regulatory framework, such as by acquiring the necessary fingerprint scanners, and the authorities evidently allowed it. That may have helped to avoid the kind of business costs endured by Pakistan’s MNOs as they scrambled to comply with their government’s legislation, losing frustrated customers in the process.

The CITC’s decision may also reflect a broader interest on the part of the Saudi government, which has looked to the potential benefits of biometric identification in other security applications.

Source: Gulf Digital News

January 26, 2016 – by Alex Perala