The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has recently clarified that the immediate implementation of the Iris biometric system for SIM registration is not under consideration. While this system holds the potential to enhance anti-forgery measures and bolster SIM card security, PTA officials revealed that the decision lies with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the entity responsible for gathering iris data.
NADRA’s Plans for the Iris Biometric System
NADRA’s new biometric authentication system, known as “Iris,” utilizes the unique characteristics of a person’s eyes for verification. With the assertion that the iris remains unchanged throughout an individual’s life, NADRA believes that capturing iris data during youth can serve as a reliable and permanent form of identification. While the system’s accuracy is reported to be remarkably high, NADRA must undertake the substantial task of gathering iris data from Pakistan’s vast population of around 250 million people before initiating SIM registration through the Iris biometric system.
The deployment of millions of iris-scanning machines across the country is essential to ensure the system’s practical implementation. This process is expected to take time and careful planning, as it involves an enormous infrastructure setup and coordination with various stakeholders.
PTA’s Stand and Prospects for the Future
PTA officials have clarified that they have not yet entered into any agreement with NADRA regarding the new system for SIM registration. However, they do not oppose its implementation and acknowledge the potential benefits of effectively combating fake SIM issuance and deterring fraudsters.
The future of the Iris biometric system for SIM registration in Pakistan depends on successful collaboration between NADRA, PTA, and mobile phone operators. While NADRA has taken the first step in introducing the technology, it will require consensus from all parties involved. If they agree on its launch, an official agreement will be signed to move forward with the new biometric system.