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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default Fingerprints to be required for prepaid SIMs in Mexico - 13-02-2009, 04:31

This is one of those laws where you have to check it's not April 1st:

Mexico to fingerprint phone users in crime fight | Reuters

So, to catch a few dumb criminals who don't have the sense to steal a phone (or roam with a foreign SIM), they're going to attempt to collect fingerprints for all prepaid phone users (including all existing users!).

Interesting to see how this will work if you buy a SIM at an independent retailer. They already have enough trouble just phoning up to activate the SIM (often can't get through), expecting them to install fingerprint readers is a whole different level.

Most likely the effect will be to make SIMs only available at official Telcel/Movistar company stores.

This is assuming the law has been reported correctly, and actually comes into force, and is actually enforced (the last step in particular doesn't always apply in Mexico).

I can see now the reaction of a tourist trying to buy a SIM at the airport on arrival and being told they have to have their fingerprints taken! (actually no different from the way the US treats arriving guests, but it's even ruder when it's just a phone company).
   
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money69 (Offline)
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Default 17-02-2009, 16:05

Well, part of the bill also is a penalty for people who fail to report that their phone was stolen. Registration is needed, we do it here in the US essentially, even small regional prepaid companies like Cricket collect at least your drivers license number. Not perfect but its better than doing nothing.
   
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Motel75 (Offline)
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Default 17-02-2009, 18:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by money69 View Post
Well, part of the bill also is a penalty for people who fail to report that their phone was stolen. Registration is needed, we do it here in the US essentially, even small regional prepaid companies like Cricket collect at least your drivers license number. Not perfect but its better than doing nothing.
Funny, but I've never been asked for any kind of ID when buying T-Mobile or AT&T in stores.


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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 18-02-2009, 02:10

I bought a T-Mobile SIM in New York City in December and I was required to provide a driver's license. I tried to buy another one for a fellow forum user in the UK but because I didn't have a copy of his identification, I wasn't permitted to do so.


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bylo (Offline)
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Default 18-02-2009, 14:00

Meanwhile in Canada you can still buy PAYG phones and airtime, pay in cash and not show any ID. That is until Obama tells "Steve" to tighten up the rules.


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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 18-02-2009, 19:10

In Singapore the 7-11 where I bought a "Green" SIM had a tiny little scanner. They had to scan my passport as part of the application process and someone, somewhere had to review it before the SIM could be activated.

I can hardly see a 7-11 in Mexico taking full fingerprints. Maybe it's just a single thumb print. What would they do with them anyway? Do they have enough people to review all the fingerprints they'll collect?
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money69 (Offline)
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Default 19-02-2009, 05:37

Ive never seen the sims for sale in the 7-11's or whatever there. They sell refills but sims are usually limited to dealers every time I have bought one.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 21-02-2009, 03:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by money69 View Post
Registration is needed, we do it here in the US essentially, even small regional prepaid companies like Cricket collect at least your drivers license number. Not perfect but its better than doing nothing.
They do already usually ask for some form of ID in Mexico when buying a sim. No attempt to verify it or the address. SIMs are available from independent dealers as well as company stores (in this town there are no company stores), but not usually convenience stores.

When I brought a 7-11 Speakout sim/phone in the US (for cash) I wasn't asked for any ID, but that was several years ago. (I've since recharged it with credit cards, so they know exactly who I am, but I could have used cash every time).

ID is one thing, but fingerprints are new. Presumably they'll be taken with ink and mailed in (even the Mexico immigration department still uses ink prints on a bit of card for residence visas).
   
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