Procedures range from fingerprint requirements to facial recognition

Dora Villanueva

With the recent approval of the National Register of Cell Phone Users, Mexico joins 17 countries whose laws are required to register biometric data associated with SIM cards.

These include Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, China, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

According to information retrieved by Privacy International, a non-governmental organization, and Comparitech, a consumer-oriented platform, metrics for linking biometric data to a cell phone line range from fingerprint requirements to facial recognition.

Penalties for not recording a user’s vital data when obtaining a SIM card, or even falsifying information, range from fines to mobile phone operators, suspending lines and even a year in prison for customers.

Facial recognition is required in China, as in Singapore with SingTel; While in Nigeria and Thailand, facial and fingerprint recognition is mandatory. The latter is only requested in Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Afghanistan, Benin, Peru and Venezuela.

Apart from these countries, in Mozambique you can request fingerprints when purchasing a SIM card if you do not have an official ID.

You may also like: INAI warns of the risks of biometric data registration

Edition: Estefanía Cardeña

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