The man was up against a cave wall, holding his freshly ground and moistened haematite pigment in a coconut shell. He had spent the morning painting two Babirusas (pig-deer) with the chewed, bristly end of a twig. It was a hot day in Borneo; the forest breeze did not reach inside the cave. He was about to wipe the sweat off his brow, when the sight of his arm gave him an idea. He placed his hand against the cave wall and blew paint all over it, leaving an unmistakable imprint on the side of the wall. Little did he know that 40,000 years later – his work of art would dethrone European caves as the earliest instance of human creativity. Unknowingly, he had also become one of the first, deliberate users of biometric information.
A Supreme Court lawyer serves a legal notice seeking a halt to biometric registration for subscriber identity module (SIM) cards of mobile operators claiming it violates privacy and has a potential malafide intention.
State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim says mobile phone operators are not cooperating with the government to ensure registration of SIM cards with subscribers’ fingerprints.
Telecom operators will sign deals with the Election Commission today to get access to the national identification database to introduce biometric registration system for new SIM cards.