The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) is planning to launch a tech solution to track down stolen mobile phones and discourage counterfeiting and theft of such devices. As per reports, the system can be used even if the SIM card is removed or if the IMEI number is changed. This project "Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)" is expected to roll out in August. The technology applicable for the same has already been created.
If a phone is stolen, a complaint can be lodged with the police by the consumer whose phone has been stolen, and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) can be informed via the helpline number. The IMEI number, which is a unique 15-digit serial number of the devices, of the concerned phone will be blacklisted and will not receive signal or connection, as per The Indian Express.
The IMEI databases of all operators will be compiled and kept confidentially. This will enable the network operators to share all mobile terminals and be connected throughout. This way the device in one category cannot be used as another, even if the SIM is replaced. There is no assurance that the missing mobile phone will be found, but the lack of usability will prevent access of personal information. Protection of consumer interests and aiding law enforcement authorities will be carried forward. Government has allocated Rs 15 crore to the DoT for setting up their CEIR project.
As per a report, in March 2018, there were 1.16 billion wireless subscribers in India while 200 mobile phones were missing only in Bengaluru. Since 2016, the missing or stolen mobile phones count up to 2.43 lakh phones.