The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has put a halt to the immediate adoption of SIM registration utilizing the iris biometric system. According to PTA officials, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has not yet communicated any proposal for such an initiative, rendering it currently outside the realm of consideration.
Clarifying the process, PTA officials conveyed that before the initiation of mobile SIM registration through the iris biometric system, NADRA would need to amass users’ iris data. Only through successful data matching can SIMs be registered and authenticated.
Given Pakistan’s population of approximately 250 million, the substantial task of deploying millions of iris biometric authentication machines across the nation looms ahead for NADRA. This ambitious endeavor requires considerable time for successful implementation.
PTA representatives assert that NADRA’s endorsement for the launch of the iris biometric system for mobile SIM registration is a requisite step. An agreement between PTA and NADRA for this system remains pending. The upcoming month of December 2022 is set to witness the issuance of SIM cards employing the Multi-Finger Biometric Verification System (MBVS) as a tightened measure for SIM registration.
The collaboration between NADRA and mobile phone operators underpins the reinforced SIM registration procedure facilitated by the MBVS, a system poised to curtail fraudulent SIM card issuance and bolster security.
Reaffirming their stance, PTA officials iterated their support for the biometric system’s effectiveness in preventing counterfeiting. Private deliberations between PTA, NADRA, and mobile phone service providers are in the pipeline to explore the prospect of implementing the iris-based biometric system.
Pending a unanimous consensus, PTA, NADRA, and mobile phone operators will ink an agreement to propel the new biometric system into action. Pending this process, it remains premature to issue any definitive statements. NADRA has recently introduced an innovative “Iris” biometric authentication system that harnesses the unique features of individuals’ irises.
NADRA asserts that the likelihood of misidentification through iris-based authentication is minimal, given the stability of the iris throughout a person’s lifetime. NADRA also contends that early iris scans can serve as a lifelong identification marker, enhancing the reliability of the authentication process.