Government regulators in Thailand are making biometric enrollment mandatory for mobile subscribers, reports the Bangkok Post.
It’s a move headed by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, or NBTC. All mobile operators will be required to set up online fingerprint registration for subscribers, with next February being the tentative deadline. The move follows the NBTC’s announcement this past summer that it was working on biometric security app for mobile banking.
Announcing the new requirement, NBTC Secretary General Takorn Tantasith framed it as a consumer protection measure, saying it will “ensure the greater security of the mobile banking channel and prevent the risk of fraud, which is likely to increase in a cashless society.” Tantasith added that 14 million of the country’s 103 million mobile subscribers are already using mobile banking.
It may have broader security implications. Numerous other governments have recently introduced biometric enrollment for mobile subscribers as part of an effort to thwart crime and terrorist activities orchestrated using mobile devices; and it’s worth noting that authorities in neighboring Malaysia have been advocating for more biometric data sharing with their counterparts in Thailand for counter-terror intelligence. But it isn’t yet clear that Thai MNO’s would be compelled to share such data with security authorities, and for now the NBTC says it won’t compel all mobile users to register their biometrics, according to the Bangkok Post.
Source: Bangkok Post
November 28, 2016 – by Alex Perala