Thailand’s efforts to ensure all pre-paid SIMs are registered by the end of July have run into rocky waters.
Reports are flooding in of identity thieves setting up fake SIM registration desks to slurp up the ID cards and other personal details of mobile phone subscribers simply wishing to comply with the law - and in many cases, charging the victims for the privilege.
Unregistered SIMs will cease to function after July 31.
Thailand currently has 83 million pre-paid SIMs - 39.36 million AIS, 24.15 million Dtac and 19.8 million TrueMove H. As of April 28, only 30.5 million have been registered.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission rolled out an Android application, roughly translated as 2-Snap hat would allow SIM card dealers to take a picture of a SIM card and a ID card in order to register the SIM card in just two snaps. However, the app’s security has proven to be sorely lacking from day one.
Many dealer passwords to the 2-snap app have been leaked and posted on webboards allowing people to download the app and register themselves. The app itself is freely downloadable on the Google Play store, though is geo-locked to Thailand phones.
The regulator has revised the system, getting rid of small dealers, locking the MAC address to each username and password and adding True’s sister company 7-11 convenience stores and Ministry of Interior regional offices as registration points.