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The Department of Telecom (DoT) has proposed a notion that might make mandatory for telecom operators to take fingerprint scan before issuing new SIM cards to customers. Home ministry has suggested Dot to maintain a central database which will contain the biometric data of all subscribers. The database can be linked to the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), so all the data remains in one place, for the sake of National security.
According to a report by economic times, an official has said that the department will be discussing the matter with all stakeholder,s including telecom service providers, to reach a conclusion. The official adds that the present verification systems is not up to the mark due to competition among retailers to sell more SIM cards.
Last year, DoT made it mandatory for telecom service providers to physically verify an applicant before issuing a SIM card. However, there have been complaints from authorities across the country that the retailers have not been verry respective of this, as there is no strict action from the service providers.
According to an official, terrorists and criminals have been taking advantage of this and procuring SIM cards by forging fake documents.
Economic Times reports that the matter was also raised by Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar. Apparently the commissioner sent a note to the home ministry suggesting an introduction of a system that will collect Biometric details of a subscriber, before issuing a SIM card.
Neeraj Kumar reportedly complained that the high level of competition between telecom service providers was leading to breaking of the physical verification rules. He indicates that distributors were selling SIM cards to criminals in bulk, which could have serious consequences, in terms of national security.
The commissioner also suggested to the ministry that DoT should impose heavier penalties and more strict rules on the mobile service providers.