Now track your stolen cell phone: the government is …

Now track your stolen mobile - the government is ready to roll out the IMEI database The DoT announced its plan to implement this project in July 2017 and a pilot test was conducted in Maharashtra. (Figurative)

In an attempt to reduce the rampant cloning and theft of mobile phones throughout the country, the Ministry of Telecommunications is ready to implement a Central Registry of Equipment Identity (CEIR), a database of IMEI, the 15-digit numbers that uniquely identify each mobile device.

Once rolled out in the coming weeks, consumers in India whose mobile phones are lost or stolen can report to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) via a helpline number after submitting a report to the police. The DoT can then blacklist the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number, effectively preventing the mobile device from accessing any cellular network in the future. In addition to this, the stated objectives of India’s CEIR specifically refer to facilitating “IMEI-based lawful interception”. India had 1.16 billion wireless subscribers as of March 2019, according to data from TRAI.


Another tool with a data security task.

While the main purpose of the registry is to discourage mobile phone theft since devices with blacklisted IMEIs will not be able to operate, the creation of such a database is also expected to help law enforcement agencies intercept mobile phones. . This will entail the responsibility to ensure that the data is not misused in the government.

The DoT had announced its plan to implement this project in July 2017 and a pilot test was carried out in Maharashtra. β€œTheft and cloning of mobile phones have become a serious problem. The theft of mobile phones is not only a financial loss, but also a threat to the personal life of citizens, as well as to national security. Counterfeit mobile phones on the market are another problem for DoT. “A substantial number of counterfeit mobile phones are active on our mobile networks with fake IMEI numbers,” stated a memo from the DoT office detailing the project accessed The Indian Express.

In India, the plan to prepare the registration of mobile identification numbers was first conceived in the National Telecommunications Policy of 2012. A pilot project for the project was developed and carried out by the IT project services unit of BSNL in Pune, owned by the state. In the interim budget for 2019-20, the government allocated Rs 15 million to the DoT for the CEIR project.

In line with global practices, the DoT identity record will be a database of IMEI numbers consisting of three lists: white, gray and black. The use of mobile phones with IMEI numbers on the white list will be allowed, while those on the black list will be those that are reported as stolen or lost and will not be allowed to access the network. Devices with IMEI numbers on the gray list will be the ones that are not compliant, but will be allowed to connect under supervision.

The concept of a central identity registry is championed by the GSM Association (GSMA), a body representing mobile operators, equipment manufacturers, software, and Internet companies, among other stakeholders in the telecommunications ecosystem.

Globally, the team identity registry is used in a variety of geographies, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Turkey, among others.

CEIR India’s stated goals include reducing counterfeit mobile devices, blocking lost or stolen mobile devices on networks, discouraging mobile phone theft, keeping track of the identity of all computers to facilitate the valid device database and facilitates IMEI-based lawful interception. . The CEIR will also have access to the GSMA global IMEI database, which will allow comparison of IMEI numbers to identify counterfeit devices.