Friday, September 03, 2010

China Follows The West, Requires ID for Cellphone SIMs

China Requires ID for Cellphone numbers
Sighting that more than 320 million cell phone users who are unidentifiable and the growing numbers of mobile spammers, pornography and fraud, Chinese government has began to tighten the knot. Most Western countries too require an ID and / or credit card information when purchasing a Cellphone or a SIM card to be used on a phone or a mobile device.

But the question seem to be if the Chinese government is capable of  of providing security for personal data. It is certainly large number of mobile users, 800 million at the count and growing, I doubt it would be different from how the other countries handle the personal data. Knowing the paranoia of the Chinese government in the past, they may already have a massive database on it's people and just need to add a field for the cell phone number. The Chinese Consumer database certainly will be very large.
China plans to impose the rules through  government-controlled cellular companies — China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
NYT has a fine article that allows you to draw your own conclusions;

BEIJING — The Chinese government on Wednesday began to require cellphone users to furnish identification when buying SIM cards, a move officials cast as an effort to rein in burgeoning cellphone spam, pornography and fraud schemes.
The requirement, which has been in the works for years, is not unlike rules in many developed nations that ask users to present credit card data or other proof of identification to buy cellphone numbers. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that about 40 percent of China’s 800 million cellphone users were currently unidentified. Those users will be ordered to furnish identification by 2013 or lose their service, according to The Global Times, a state-run newspaper.


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