Soon You Will Require Fingerprints To Buy A SIM Card

Bangalore: To put an end to the unauthorized distribution and access of SIM cards by fraudsters, the home ministry has asked Department of Telecommunication to explore various measures to take biometric details including fingerprints by cell phone service providers before activating the connection.

According to the report by the Times of India, the ministry had also advised department to maintain a central database for maintaining the biometric details of all customers which can then be linked to National Intelligence Grid for keeping the data in National security point of view.

The suggestion from Ministry comes as the existing methods including physical verification is proving to be a failure due to sheer competition among the retailers on selling maximum connections possible. Earlier, DoT has issued tight policies to mobile service providers on physical verification of the customer before issuing the SIM. However, the retailers skipped this part, following no strict actions from the service providers.

"The issue was discussed even during the chief ministers' conference on internal security last month when it was pointed out that how SIM cards were being procured by terroristscriminals on the basis of forged documents in absence of retailers' and distributors' failure to adhere to the mandatory norms of physical verification," said an official to TOI.  

Biometric identification of a customer before issuing the SIM card will prevent the misuse of connection to an extent. However, until the service providers are given strict instructions and heavy penalties for breaking the rules, even this method can prove to be a failure.