CRAN bans mandatory biometric data collection for SIM card registration

The Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has ordered telecommunications operators to cease the mandatory capturing of biometric data for SIM card registration purposes.

According to the sector regulator, the decision was made in response to consistent complaints from the public and media regarding the practice employed by some mobile operators, which had been requesting biometric data during the SIM card registration process, despite the absence of a data protection legislative framework.

"CRAN has issued a directive to all relevant operators stating that the mandatory capturing of biometric data will no longer be required for SIM card registration purposes. Operators will only require the information specified in the regulations, which includes the customer's name, address of ordinary residence, and Namibian ID, passport, or any other official identity document issued by the government of Namibia or any other country. Customers who voluntarily choose to provide their biometric data are welcome to do so," said Emilia Nghikembua, Chief Executive Officer of CRAN, on Friday. 

"To achieve the objectives of the SIM registration process, all telecommunications operators will now allow customers to register their SIM cards through procedures that do not involve mandatory collection of biometric data."

Mandatory SIM card registration is a policy implemented by various governments worldwide to address security concerns, combat crime, and facilitate the utilization of digital services.

Members of the public have until January 1st of next year to register their SIM cards; otherwise, they may face disconnection.





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Last modified on Monday, 29 May 2023 11:43

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