The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has revealed that the travel agents and civil aviation officials had leaked the personal data of passengers. PTA while informing the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology said that the data of passengers was leaked even before they went to the mobile registration counters to register their devices.
The leaked data included information about the passport number and ID card number of the passengers, which were then used to register mobile phones without the knowledge of the passport owner. The passengers came to know about this issue when they went to the registration booths at the airport to register their phones and found that there are mobile phones already registered under their names.
The PTA has been receiving hundreds of complaints regarding this issue, and the authority informed the standing committee that they have referred the case of leaked data to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The government of Pakistan previously launched online mobile registration and blocking system (DIRBS) in collaboration with PTA and the customs department block stolen, smuggled and duplicate mobile phones in Pakistan. With this system, the passengers are required to fill in the details of travel documents, passport, and travel history to register their smartphones online.
Any overseas Pakistani coming from abroad are allowed to bring only one free handset in the country, any passenger bringing more smartphones have to register their devices under the system and pay the tax amount set by the authorities. The registration of mobile devices could either be done at the Custom Kiosks at airports or at the nearest Customs office within 15 days of arrival, failing this condition would force DIRBS to automatically detect and block the non-registered smartphones.