Facial Verification Will Be Mandatory to Activate or Sell SIMs In Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has announced that soon facial recognition verification will also be mandatory to get a SIM card.

Since August 2014 no mobile phone user has been able to activate or sell a SIM card without biometric verification. But now alternate verification mechanisms are the focus of a pilot project. The goal is for SIMs to be issued after facial verification with a person’s original CNIC.

The facial image of the salesperson will also be collected to ensure the authorities can trace back who issued the SIM in the first place.

According to the PTA, mobile service provider company staff are involved in illegally selling SIMs which are used in terrorist attacks and other crimes.

NADRA has been directed to perform biometric verifications with a person’s index finger instead of a thumb impressions. The PTA, NADRA and CMOs have been working on implementing this.

After complaints were made, 29 cases were forwarded to the FIA for investigation and at least 178 Ufone retailers were suspended for issing illegal SIMs.

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