Identify yourself and thou shall pass
(Daily Pakistan Today Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The NADRA has successfully prepared a robust and authentic Biometric Verification System (BVS) for telecom operators, said a NADRA spokesperson on Friday. She said all preparations for the system had been carried out and NADRA was ready to launch it from February 28th.
She said earlier all telecom operators had agreed in a meeting with the prime minister to launch biometric verification for the issuance of SIMs from the above mentioned date.
The spokesperson further said that the new verification system would require each citizen to personally approach the retailer, franchise or Customer Service Centers of cellular operators and provide his/her fingerprints for authentication against CNIC data held with the NADRA.
SIM would only be activated when the transactions prove successful, she added. She also said that this operation would be performed online and would take only 15 seconds end to end. Moreover, security related apparatuses believed that such measures would help the Government of Pakistan to curb the use of illegally issued SIMs for terrorism, extortions and street crimes, the spokesperson said.
She further said that Pakistan had a significantly high cellular density in the country, adding that although it had changed the dynamics of communication, yet their misuse had created a great security risk for the country.
Prior to BVS, methods adopted to regulate SIM issuance were prone to frauds. Now, with fingerprint matching facility, it was expected that the same would bring authenticity to the whole SIM issuance process and would also reduce the risk of SIM issuance against fake identity to almost zero.
In this regard, NADRA had demonstrated its services and applications to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Cellular Mobile Operators including representatives of Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, Warid and Zong.
The NADRA spokesperson said that proof of concept had been carried out with some telecom operators. A draft contract containing minute details of operations had already been forwarded to the mobile phone service providing companies, she added.
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