An Exploratory Study on Policy Transfer for SIM Card Registration in Malawi

An Exploratory Study on Policy Transfer for SIM Card Registration in Malawi

Frank Makoza (Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJTD.2015010102

Abstract

Majority of African countries have adopted policies for mandatory Subscriber Identifiable Module (SIM) card registration to mitigate security threats to citizens and society. However, there are few countries that have not yet adopted the mandatory SIM card registration policies. This study investigated the means through which SIM card registration policy may be transferred in countries without the policy. The context of Malawi was analysed which represented an ideal case of an African country without mandatory SIM card registration policy. The findings showed that the mandatory SIM card registration policy may be transferred through: (a) voluntary transfer to address local challenges related to mobile technologies (b) coercive transfer in response to meet international agreements. However, lack of national identification documents for mobile phone users and delays in implementing legal framework affected the transfer of the mandatory SIM Card registration in Malawi. It will be necessary to consider of social, economic and political factors when adopting the mandatory SIM card registration policy.
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2. Background To The Study

Mandatory SIM card registration can be described as the process of recording mobile phones with their personal details for active prepaid SIM cards (Jentzsch, 2012). Personal data such as name, physical address and contact details are recorded and stored on a database. In some cases, biometric data i.e. photograph and finger prints are also recorded (Donavan & Martin, 2012). Identification of the mobile phone users is crucial in the SIM registration process.

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