Fingerprint, facial scans to be required for SIM cards in Thailand
May 25 2017 06:32 PM
SIM cards


People in Bangkok and the insurgency-plagued deep south of Thailand will be required to have their fingerprints and faces scanned when buying pre-paid SIM cards, Thailand's telecommunications regulator said Thursday.

The move is aimed at curbing financial fraud and bombing attacks triggered by mobile phones, said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Starting June 1, people in Bangkok and four southern provinces can start registering their mobile phone SIM cards with their fingerprint and facial scans, Takorn said.

A separatist insurgency in three southern provinces bordering Malaysia - Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat - has simmered for decades, leaving more than 6,500 dead since 2004.

Many bomb attacks in the region were triggered by mobile phones, the authorities said, with the most recent attack in Pattani wounding more than 50 people, including children.

‘The NBTC would like to urge people to register for pre-paid SIM cards with fingerprints...for your own safety,’ Takorn said.

The fingerprint verification and facial recognition system in the capital and the southern region will serve as a trial before being implemented elsewhere in the country, he added. 

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