Russia may equate SIM-cards with passports

16 November 2017
Russians will be able to use a smartphone instead of a passport. Soon this seemingly fantastic statement may turn out to be a reality: in the spring session, the State Duma plans to begin developing a corresponding bill.The new law is expected to turn SIM-cards into full-fledged IDs that can be used instead of a passport. It is likely that either a passport or a phone may also be required to apply for a loan. In order for the law to work, you need to create a special state register of SIM-cards. Of course, this will be followed by stricter control over them. However, this does not mean that the number of SIM-cards sold in one hand should be limited. On the contrary, if a citizen has several cards, he will be able to use any of them to confirm identity, but to transfer them to third parties will be prohibited. And for minor children SIM-cards could be issued by the parents in the same way as for passports. Nevertheless, Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Duma Committee on Financial Market, said that despite the fact that proposals for identification of citizens in such a way were indeed expressed, the complete replacement of passports with SIM-cards is not planned. The thing is that the passports, issued by the state bodies, authorized and having access to relevant information systems, exclude the possibility of using false information. At the same time SIM-cards are issued by the telecommunication companies that have no access to the above mentioned systems. On the other hand, according to Aksakov, the State Duma is discussing the issue of introducing electronic passports, which could replace paper passports and offer more functions. For this purpose, it is planned to combine various documents into a single package on a digital medium. However, the transition to electronic passports is planned to be voluntary, giving everyone the opportunity to use a more familiar, paper version.