Thailand Authorities Require Biometric SIM Registration in Insurgency-Plagued Regions

“The move follows a new NBTC regulation from earlier this year requiring MNOs to enable voluntary biometric registration. While that regulation was framed as a measure aimed at fighting fraud, the new requirements are deemed national security efforts aimed at fighting terrorist attacks…”

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecom Commission has implemented mandatory biometric registration for mobile subscribers in the country’s southern provinces – Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala. The requirement also applies to the Songkhla Jana and Na Thawi districts, and will expand to more soon.Thailand Authorities Require Biometric SIM Registration in Insurgency-Plagued Regions

New SIM card buyers must register immediately, submitting to facial and fingerprint scans, while existing subscribers must register within 120 days or their service will be cut off. Registered mobile customers will be authenticated against a central citizen database maintained by government authorities.

The move follows a new NBTC regulation from earlier this year requiring MNOs to enable voluntary biometric registration. While that regulation was framed as a measure aimed at fighting fraud, the new requirements are deemed national security efforts aimed at fighting terrorist attacks in the provinces most affected by an ongoing insurgency against the government, echoing similar biometric SIM registration efforts in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

The new regulations come into effect June 1st.

Sources: The Nation, Gulf Times

May 26, 2017 – by Alex Perala