Loss of mobile phone, especially in the cases of mobile theft is not only an economic loss but its a loss of privacy as well. In India, phone theft is a common thing, and conmen know how to change the IMEI address of the stolen device.
So, the Indian Government is coming up with a database that stores all IMEIs ( International Mobile Equipment Identity) to counter mobile theft. For those who don’t know, the IMEI number is a set of unique 15-digit number which is used to identify mobile phones.
It is the IMEI number that differentiates one phone from another. Since the citizens of India deals with the problem of widespread mobile theft, Indian Government is now planning to roll out a Central Equipment Identity Register that will store IMEI numbers.
How would users benefit?
Once implemented, consumers in India whose mobile phones are lost or stolen can inform the Department of Telecom (DoT) via a helpline number after filing a report with police. The DoT can then blacklist the IMEI number, effectively blocking the mobile device from accessing any cellular network. Apart from countering mobile theft, the move is also expected to bring a considerable fall in the number of IMEI cloning as well.
India is not the first country to maintain a database of IMEI numbers. Countries like Australia, Egypt, UK, Turkey and several others already have a central register of IMEI numbers to blacklist stolen devices.
The story of a someone falling victim to phone theft is something you hear almost every week. So this initiative taken by India’s government is worth copying by our government as it directly helps citizens. Yet having having that kind of service will come with the risk of being tracked by the government.