Tk 300cr fine proposed for operators | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 05, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:33 AM, April 05, 2016

Fingerprint Misuse

Tk 300cr fine proposed for operators

The cabinet yesterday assured mobile phone users that their privacy and safety would not be endangered after the biometric registration of their SIM cards.

It said in case of any misuse of their personal data, carriers would be fined Tk 300 crore.

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"The cabinet has assured that there is no scope for misuse of the fingerprints of the subscribers and they need not be worried to this end,” Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam told reporters after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The cabinet secretary said fingerprint of a person might not match in case of changes in one's finger due to the aging process. "In that case, one should communicate with the Election Commission for correction of the fingerprint in the national database,” he said.

Cabinet sources said the issue came up for discussion at the cabinet meeting after Finance Minister AMA Muhith raised the issue and wanted to know from State Minister for Post and Telecommunication Tarana Halim about the ongoing debate on the biometric SIM re-registration.

Tarana informed the cabinet that there was no function of the fingerprint once it matches with the National Identity Card information preserved in the national database under the Election Commission and that there was no scope of harassment of citizens or misuse of the fingerprints for any other purpose.

The carriers have no mechanism to preserve the fingerprints of the subscribers, said Tarana, adding that people's confusion would be gone through this.  

She told the meeting that as per the telecommunication act, carriers cannot use or release personal data of users. If any carrier violated the act, there is a provision for a Tk-300-crore fine, she noted. 

Talking to reporters at her ministry office later on, Tarana said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself would re-register her mobile SIM card through biometric process by April 30. Through this people would be assured that their fingerprints have not been preserved afresh, she said.

The SIM cards, not re-registered by April 30, would be disconnected and a text message would be sent to it, she said, adding that the subscribers would be able to register their SIM cards later on.

She, however, did not mention any specific timeframe for this.

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