Paraguayan president puts halt to biometric phone register project
28 September 2017 14:28 GMT

Paraguay's president has stopped a bill that would have required biometric registration for all SIM cards.

President Horacio Cartes has applied his veto to stop the "mobile telephony service activation bill" on grounds that it would cause serious problems for users and operators alike.

A bill approved by congress last month required all mobile subscribers to confirm their identities via their ID card and fingerprints but the president said the 12-month deadline didn’t give operators enough time to implement the measures given that Paraguay lacks a national biometric database.

"The data verification process to be applied by mobile service providers would constitute a barrier to accessing telecommunications,” said the president’s office in a statement.

Under the original plans, Paraguay's National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) was to be entrusted with managing the corresponding central register, with a website provided for users to report stolen or lost phones. Peru’s regulator Osiptel launched a similar biometric registry earlier this year.