Beginning from today (September 1 2010) mobile phone users in China will have to show their identity card and register their real name when purchasing a new mobile number. It is estimated that there are over 700 million mobile phone subscribers in China, of which 70 percent are using pre-paid SIM cards and hence anonymous users. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stressed that the new policy would help the fight against criminal and abusive use of mobile.
However, according to an online survey conducted by ifeng.com, more than 80% of the opinion believes that the real name registration would not solve the existing problem, on the other hand, many netizens believe that the policy will create new problem.
Zhang Lin from hc360.com explains the potential problems of the new policy:
The precondition of mobile phone real name registration is citizen's privacy. At present, we don't have law and regulation to protect individual privacy and data. That's why many companies would sell individuals’ personal information in the market for making money. We have so many shops that sell mobile prepaid card and it is very difficult to protect mobile users’ personal information if they have to register their identity data. Consumers are very worried about such problem.
People who are into the business of making fake ID would make use of the opportunity to make profit. The mobile phone real name registration may even promotes the development of high quality fake ID. Some will use others’ ID to register a mobile phone. For the sake of having more business, mobile phone number outlets may allow that to happen and the real name registration will become a gesture.
Today, the issue mobile phone real name registration （＃手机实名制） has become a hottest topic in sina micro-blog. Similar to the survey result of ifeng.com, the majority is skeptical about the new policy:
: Let's discuss the newly launched mobile phone real name registration system! I believe that the intention is good but why don't they pass the legislation that protect user's rights and privacy first? Of course the mobile company would stand out and guarantee the protection of user's interest, but they don't have a system to deal with that. Why can't we have policy to prevent the potential abuse of our data first?
: Any one who has the experience of mobile service provider knows that the so called problems are purely bullshit. Even junior staff with one year working experience can list out 3-5 method to continue their business as usual. On the other hand, if the mobile number outlets are able to collect more detailed personal data, they can sell them in a better price. The Data outlets and service providers have already prepared enough cash for developing their business.
: The mobile phone real name registration is a fake system that target against the righteous ones rather than the bad guys. The swindlers always get around the system to cheat and it cannot be solved by the real name registration. Moreover, with the track record of mobile number outlets, can we trust them with our personal data? In order to target individual swindlers, the whole society has to use real name registration, this is disturbing…
: I don't know what to said about the mobile phone registration system. What is the greatest and darkest problem in this society? Everyone knows about that from their heart. They don't deal with the real problem but keep distributing ordinary citizens. Should we all install a taping machine in our house for monitoring anti-social or violent speech crime?
: Both the mobile phone and internet real name registration systems, make me feel very insecure.