Some Nigerians on social media have slammed the Nigerian Communications Commission for asking them to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity of their mobile phones to the commission.
According to them, the NCC should leave decent Nigerians alone and focus on how to track kidnappers and bandits who use their phones to contact families of victims to demand ransom. It was earlier reported that the NCC, in its Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration, called for Nigerians to submit the IMEI numbers of their phones to the commission from July.
The IMEI number is the mobile phone’s fingerprint. It is a 15-digit number unique to each phone. With the IMEI number, a phone can be tracked and located irrespective of the cellular number in it.
The NCC had said, “With the aim 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, one of the means to achieve this is through the deployment of Device Management System.”
Reacting to this move by the NCC, a tweep, @uchmania, described NCC’s move as an infringement of privacy. “They haven’t tracked phone calls of kidnappers. Why do they need the IMEI of my phone which I bought with my money? It is an infringement of privacy.”