Reforms introduced for Mobile User protection

Reforms introduced for Mobile User protection

News: Recently, Two reforms were introduced for Mobile User Protection to promote a cleaner and safer digital ecosystem.

What are the reforms?
• KYC Reforms
• Point of Sale(POS) registration Reform
• These two reforms are in direction of earlier reforms introduced with a launch of Sanchar Saathi, a citizen centric portal that has empowered India's fight against the menace of cybercrimes and financial frauds.

What is the Point-of-Sale (POS) registration reforms?
• This reform introduces the process for mandatory registration of Franchisee, Agents and Distributors (PoS) by Licensees. This will help in eliminating the rogue PoS who by fraudulent practices issue SIMs to anti-social/anti-national elements.
• The PoS registration process includes indisputable verification of PoS by Licensee. The process mandates written agreement between the PoS and the Licensees. This will help in identifying, blacklisting and eliminating rogue PoS, from the licensees’ system and provide an encouragement to the upright PoS.

What are the KYC reforms?
• KYC is a process to uniquely identity a customer and enable his traceability before providing him telecom services. Strengthening of the existing KYC process is one of the tools in protecting the subscribers of telecom services from any probable frauds and thereby enhancing the confidence of general public in the digital ecosystem.
• To prevent misuse of printed Aadhaar, the demographic details will mandatorily be captured by scanning QR code of printed Aadhaar. In case of disconnection of a mobile number, it will not be allocated to any other new customer till expiry of 90 days. A subscriber has to undertake complete KYC for replacement of his SIM and there will be bar of 24 hours on outgoing & incoming SMS facilities.
• In addition to thumb impression and iris-based authentication in Aadhaar E-KYC process, facial based biometric authentication is also permitted.

What has been the impact of Sanchar Saathi Portal?
• ‘Sanchar Saathi’ portal was launched on World Telecommunication Day (17 May 2023) for protection of mobile users.
• Sanchar Saathi’ portal empowers mobile subscribers to Find out mobile connections registered in their name, Report connections registered fraudulently in their name, if any, and Report stolen/ lost mobile handsets & block them.
• With the help of ‘Sanchar Saathi’ portal and ASTR tool, around 114 Crore active mobile connections have been analyzed. The outcome is More than 66 lakh suspected mobile connections were detected, More than 67000 Points of Sale (PoS) have been blacklisted, About 17000 mobile handsets have been blocked, More than 300 FIRs have been registered against more than 1,700 Points of Sale (PoS), More than 66000 WhatsApp accounts have been blocked etc.
 Out of about 18 lakh subscribers complaints about fraudulently registered mobile connections in their name, 9.26 lakh complaints have been resolved

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