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Photos required for phone subscriptions

Released at: 14:16, 22/06/2017

Photos required for phone subscriptions

Photo: Tuoi Tre

In addition to ID documents, mobile phone subscribers must also submit a photo when registering for accounts.

by Le Diem

According to amended Decree No.49/2017, new mobile phone subscribers must submit a photograph when registering for a new account. Existing account holder must submit a photo within 12 months from April 24, 2017 or their account will only receive calls for 15 days and then neither receive nor make calls 15 days later.

Telecommunications enterprises have 12 months to inform customers and standardize all subscriber data and will be fined if false information is detected.

The move aims to improve mobile subscription management and prevent spam messages, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications. There are millions of spam messages distributed every day in Vietnam, primarily from junk SIMs or pre-paid mobile subscribers who gave incorrect information when registering. Many people purchased these SIMs to send anonymous messages and commit fraud. For this reason, the regulator has strengthened the management of pre-paid mobile subscriptions with ongoing campaigns since the end of last year.

According to the ministry, 80 million of the 120 million mobile phone accounts as at the beginning of 2016 did not match information on the buyer’s ID cards despite strict regulations.

Photos are therefore the most credible evidence of identity, which will prevent mobile users from using the IDs of others to register for different mobile accounts.

Electronic databases that contain subscribers’ information have been established in Germany, the US, and Japan, enabling authorities to double-check information when mobile accounts are registered. Countries such as India, Thailand, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have launched fingerprint recognition systems, and Nigeria, in addition to using fingerprint recognition, also requires photos be submitted.

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