The Thai government through the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) announced today that it will oblige mobile phone users to register their fingerprints online by January 1, 2018, according to Bangkok Post.
Valid for both pre-paid and post-paid SIM cards, failure to register within the deadline will result in the mobile phone users being unable to use the service.
The fingerprint identification system aims to create “greater security and benefits” for users, particularly users of mobile banking service.
Counter-terrorism efforts have also been cited as the reason behind the new system.
On Thursday, NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith unveiled the fingerprint identification machines that will be used to scan users’ fingerprints, before storing it in national identity card and NBTC’s database.
Failure to register by deadline will result with mobile phone users being unable to use the mobile phone service
Thirty machines will be distributed on May 31 to various areas in the country, with 25 of them being focussed in deep South provinces Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat.
Users in the provinces are given the deadline to register by October, even for those who had previously registered themselves to existing registration system.
The three provinces was being given extra focus due to its frequent terrorism-related incidents.
Prior to the launch of the new system, Thailand has conducted the fingerprint registration on voluntary basis.
In the past month, Thailand has been stepping up its effort in ensuring cybersecurity. It has previously legalise a new bill that allows a national committee to access both private and public computer networks that are perceived to be “vulnerable” to threat; the bill has been criticised due to the possibility of privacy invasion by the government.
It has also petitioned Facebook to remove pages that violate the country’s lese majeste law, but the platform continues to be accessible as the deadline for removal passed.
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