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SERAP urges FG to stop submission of phone tracking numbers

Felix Oloyede



SERAP urges FG to stop submission of phone tracking numbers

The Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project, SERAP has called on the Federal Government to withdraw the directive asking Nigerians to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity, IMEI of their mobile phones.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday announced that mobile subscribers must submit their phones’ International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) from July.

The IMEI is an identification number used to uniquely identify a mobile phone. The 15-digit IMEI number is an electronic fingerprint transmitted every time a phone is used, which reveals the identity of the mobile handset.

They are independent of phone numbers and are usually stamped beneath the battery on the back of the handset.

The IMEI is only used for identifying the device and has no permanent or semi-permanent relation to the subscriber. The number is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used for stopping a stolen phone from accessing the network in that country. Photo:
NCC said this directive is to be implemented within three months, as contained in the revised national identity policy for SIM card registration which was released on May 11, 2021.

It is expected to “curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market, discourage mobile phone theft, enhance national security, protect consumer interest, increase revenue generation for the government, reduce the rate of kidnapping, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile
phones and other smart devices.”It said

In a tweet on Friday, SERAP called for court action if the order is not withdrawn with 48 hours.

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