DoT Scrutinizes Proposal About Mandatory Biometric Verification For New Mobile Connections

Procuring a Mobile Connection could involve submitting one’s fingerprint, confirmed Minister of State for Communications and IT, Milind Deora in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

As per this proposal, this would entail taking fingerprint/thumb impression or any other unique biometric feature of the subscriber when he/she applies for a mobile connection. The suggestion is presently being examined in DoT and decision on the same is yet to be taken

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What this means is, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is currently scrutinizing a proposal from the Ministry of Home Affairs which stipulates creation and maintenance of biometric verification parameters. Since existent mobile subscribers can’t be summoned to offer such details, only new connection seekers may have to undergo this process. The proposal appears to be in line with the national efforts to record similar information for the Aadhar Card project. In the initiation phases itself, the Aadhar Project entitled collection of fingerprints as well as iris data of each individual.

Why the additional burden? Procuring a new mobile connection has been getting overly burdensome for all the parties involved. Last year, the Government revised the guidelines and mandated Physical Verification of all details provided by the subscriber at the time of applying for a new connection. Additionally, the rules squarely placed the responsibility of inaccurate information provided by subscribers, on the service providers. In other words, mobile companies could be penalized in case the details provided by the subscriber were proven to be inaccurate or false.

The Indian Government has been tightening the norms people have to abide or fulfill, just to get a mobile connection. Since Aadhar card can be used to avail a subscription, it could have simply ensured that the Aadhar project was flawless. Entitling additional expenditure, this proposal could be met with resistance from the private telecom companies who have in the past refused to bear expenditure of location fixing equipment too. Do you think DoT should enforce this?

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