Considering the misuse of lost or stolen smartphones in India, the government has decided to take a bold step to prevent it.
Preventing Misuse Of Lost Or Stolen Smartphones
As part this initiative, all mobile phone manufacturers are required to register the IMEI number of every handset manufactured in India with the Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction portal (https://icdr.ceir.gov.in) before the first sale of a newly launched mobile phone, starting January 1, 2023.
Earlier, some reports have highlighted that there are lakhs of smartphones and feature phones that come with fake IMEI numbers or even duplicate IMEI numbers in India.
The other fact is, copycats of popular handsets are being sold in India that mostly arrive from China.
This new initiative will make sure that all mobile phones that are sold in India have a legit IMEI number that can be tracked digitally.
Moreover, the new process will help users to block their smartphones or feature phones if it gets lost or stolen, so that it cannot be misused.
The move is likely to affect the black marketing of smartphones in India.
The issue came to light when the Meerut Police found out that 13,500 smartphones from Vivo had the same IMEI Number in June 2020.
Notably, this is not just a singular incident or for one brand.
Other Chinese brands also reported similar kinds of incidents as well.
New Rule Applicable to All Smartphones
It is noteworthy here that this new rule will be applicable to even imported smartphones, and not just Made-In-India phones, like top-end iPhones, Samsung Galaxy smartphones among others.
a notification by the government states that “The international mobile equipment identity number of the mobile phone imported in India for sale, testing, research or any other purpose shall be registered by the importer with the Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction portal (https://icdr.ceir.gov.in) of the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications prior to import of mobile phone into the country,”.
Here, IMEI number is unique and it is used to track criminals.
When it comes to SIM cards, they can be changed or destroyed, but the IMEI number is hard coded and makes it easier for law enforcement agencies to tackle crime.