The Department of Telecom is examining a proposal for making it compulsory for mobile operators to take fingerprint or any other biometric feature of the subscriber at the time of receiving application for a new mobile connection. Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said DoT has recently received a suggestion from the Ministry of Home Affairs indicating that a central database be maintained by DoT of all subscribers which maintains biometric parameters akin to the ‘Aadhaar’ system.”
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,” Deora said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. He added the suggestion “is presently being examined in DoT and decision on the same is yet to be taken”.
Strengthening the rules for taking a new mobile connection, the DoT last year came with tough guidelines which called for physical verification of facts provided by the subscriber. The guidelines also made operators responsible for inaccurate information provided by subscribers for taking new pre-paid and post-paid mobile connections.
Under the new rules, the authorised person selling SIM cards has to give an undertaking that he has seen the applicant and matched the photograph attached on the application form. Retailers and franchisees selling mobile SIM cards have to register police complaint against subscribers if they submit forged documents to get the connections.