SIM card re-registration: NIA letter raises legality & data sanctity issues

A letter from the National Identification Authority (NIA) purported to be a response to the National Communications Authority (NCA) on the processes that led to the ongoing compulsory SIM re-registration exercise, has raised questions about the legality and sanctity of the process.

The 13th September, 2021 NIA letter replied to three key issues, one of which used to be to verify whether or not or not “the biometric information to be amassed by way of the NCA for the reason of SIM registration is in a format, and of sufficiently high fine for successful verification in opposition to the National Identity System”. The NIA answered in the negative.

“The format and improvement of the method by using which the National Communications Authority (NCA), performing via itself or thru a 0.33 party, will acquire and keep biometric data of SIM card holders is distinct to the NCA. NIA does no longer have any input in the development of the stated Android Registration Application.

NIA is unable to verify that the biometric data to be amassed by way of the NCA for the purpose described above will meet the wellknown to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database” components of the letter reads.  

The NIA, citing Regulation 7 of the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2111) argued it is the group accountable for verifying the identity of all men and women who are searching for to partake in transactions which require the verification of identity, as such an exercising of that nature requires their involvement.

The NIA said it has entered into a Public-Private Partnership Agreement with Messers, Identity Management Systems II Limited, its technical partner, to boost and manipulate a modern-day Biometric Verification Platform which ensures the easiest safety and meets the perfect international requirements for use by way of all groups to verify the identification of their customers at some stage in transactions which require proof of identity.

 The NIA additionally stated it cannot “endorse or warranty the first-class of the biometrics to be captured by using NCA (during the SIM card registration exercise) with units NIA has not duly certified.


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