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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has proposed tying the biometric data of South Africans to their SIM cards in a move to clamp down on fraudulent activity.
The proposals are included alongside other draft regulations which were published for public comment by the regulator on Wednesday (23 March).
The regulations define biometric data as the “measurement and statistical analysis of people’s unique physical and behavioural characteristics”.
In practice, this means that fingerprint mapping, facial recognition, retina scans and biometric data could all be tied to a person’s SIM card – and by extension their phone number – going forward.
“On activation of a mobile number on its network, a licensee must ensure that it collects and links the biometric data of the subscriber to the number. A licensee must ensure that, at all times, it has the current biometric data of an assigned mobile number,” the regulator said.