Citizens opposed to biometric linkage of SIM cards
A campaign run by advocacy non-profit Dear SA shows that many South Africans are opposed to a proposed linkage of biometrics to SIM cards. The proposal is contained in draft regulations published by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). It aims to add biometric data of phone users in South Africa to their SIM cards. This is to curb SIM- swap incidences by requiring fingerprints or face photographs during SIM card registration. SIM swapping is identity theft where the fraudster impersonates the mobile subscriber, and gets the mobile network operator to transfer the SIM card details to a new SIM card which the fraudster holds. The fraudster then uses the swapped SIM to transact as if they were the subscriber.
The biometric registration proposal has been opposed because of fear of the government invading their privacy Local security experts also expressed concerns that the new laws may infringe on compliance requirements set out in the country’s privacy laws.