The Posts and Telecommunications Department (PTD) under the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) has issued a statement reminding users to (re)register their SIM cards by 30 June or face the threat of having it deactivated on that date. The body had first announced the deadline in February this year with a deadline on April 30th before extending due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The motives for the reregistration drive were to help protect the security of mobile financial services, to prevent phone-related crime and to crack down on incorrectly registered SIMs.
The reminder comes amidst a controversy with the government recently having called out for a tender process for a biometric database for mobile phone subscribers, alarming civil society activists due to the country’s lack of data protection laws, according to the Myanmar Times. The tender mentioned the fact that users registering a SIM card will have their fingerprints collected and their identity card scanned.
PTD responded that the government is “preparing all the necessary legal framework for biometric registration of SIM cards,” without giving further details or a timeline.