India is building a national IMEI database to combat phone theft
India has the second largest mobile device market on Earth. Both smartphones and feature phones are popular and widespread within it. However, that statistic may also increase the risk of device theft, which may be a particularly serious matter in this country. This is because an individual's Aadhaar, a unique number generated by a governmental system of identification that can be based on both sensitive personal information and biometrics, could be compromized via their phone.
Accordingly, the Indian MEIT's Department of Telecom (DoT) is reportedly buillding a Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) of mobile device IMEIs. It is intended to track and block devices that have been declared stolen. The CEIR may also be intended to combat the issue of counterfeit mobile phones with fake IMEIs, which, according to the government, is associated with terrorism.
The CEIR for phones may also access the GSM Association's global repository of IMEIs. Therefore, it may truly be useful to those who have experienced mobile device-related crime in India. On the other hand, it must be said that it gives the administration in question a greater dimension of control over user data, which could be subject to abuse in the presence of malicious actors.