[bestbits] [Chapter-delegates] Privacy : Why are private business operators empowered to insist on biometrics?

Onica Makwakwa onica.makwakwa at webfoundation.org
Tue Dec 5 08:31:33 EST 2017

This seems to be a growing trend. In Nigeria, all operators require a
national ID (or passport) and they take fingerprint and picture to register
sim cards. It may be interesting to know how data protection policies in
markets that require this have been updated/adjusted to ensure privacy and
protection of data. Especially since sim registration is sometimes used to
enable entrepreneurs and/or small SME's who resell sim cards, airtime/data
and therefore may not be directly employed by the MNO.


Onica N. Makwakwa
Africa Regional Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)
+27 63 237 3050 (South Africa)
Skype: afrodivaonline

*World Wide Web Foundation | **1110 Vermont Ave NW, Suite 500, Washington
DC 20005, USA | **www.webfoundation.org* <http://www.webfoundation.org/>* |
Twitter: @webfoundation*

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 3:10 PM, Judith Hellerstein <judith at jhellerstein.com>

> I can understand why they need your ID cards for verification but
> biometrics is a bit overboard
> Judith
> Sent from my iPhone
> Judith at jhellerstein.com
> Skype ID:Judithhellerstein
> On Dec 5, 2017, at 8:02 AM, Sivasubramanian M <isolatednet at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> Might be happening everywhere. In this instance, Airtel, one of India's
> Telecom operators requires all subscribers to bring their National Id cards
> to their premises and present biometrics to them for 'verification'.  Where
> is this leading to ? (See the image in the forwarded mail below that says,
> "visit the nearest Airtel store with your Id (Aadhar), give your
> fingerprints)
> Sivasubramanian M
> President
> Internet Society India Chennai.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "Airtel" <impinfo at mailer.airtel.com>
> Date: Dec 5, 2017 6:00 PM
> Subject: Important- Verify your Airtel Mobile with Aadhaar!
> To: <isolatednet at gmail.com>
> Cc:
> As per the directive from Govt. of India, it is mandatory to verify your
> mobile number with Aadhaar before 6-Feb-2018. Please follow below mentioned
> steps to complete the verification for your Airtel Mobile 9952403099
> <099524%2003099>.
> Visit the nearest * Airtel Store *
> <http://oemm2.airtel.com/r.html?uid=1.bl.27rba.wh.dr84f0u513>
> Share Aadhaar number with our executive to update
> Give your fingerprints for biometric verification
> Confirm the OTP sent on your number
> Done! Your Aadhaar is linked
> For Airtel Store details, click www.airtel.in/store
> <http://oemm2.airtel.com/r.html?uid=1.bl.27rba.wk.3z5g4qdp08> or *SMS
> STORE <Area PIN Code>* to *121*
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