To combat the widespread practice of issuing fake SIM cards using stolen finger impressions, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to use Live Finger Detection (LFD) devices.
For the uninitiated, an LFD device accurately determines whether a fingerprint is real and was taken from a person present at the time of capture, or if it is fake and was obtained illegally.
In response to the exponentially rising number of fake SIMs, a spokesperson for the PTA stated that the authority has decided to use LFD devices for SIM issuance.
Fake SIMs will be eliminated with the introduction of LFD devices, as they pose a significant challenge to PTA, NADRA, and FIA because they can’t be traced back to their rightful owners.
In 2008, PTA launched a SIM ownership verification system that uses biometric devices to verify ownership. According to the policy.
For issuing new SIMs, more than 300,000 PTA-authorized biometric devices will be altered with LFD devices across the country. In the first phase, the new devices will be launched in major cities, followed by the rest of the country in the second phase.
According to official estimates, there are more than 0.7 million active fake SIM cards in the country, which were created using fingerprints obtained through various illegal means.
0.58 million fake SIMs were issued using the fingerprints of deceased people, while the remaining 0.7 million SIMs were issued using fingerprints stolen from voter lists, B-forms, identity cards, and documents from union councils in collusion with the concerned staff.