The Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) which the Ministry of Telecom reportedly plans to roll out could potentially lead to a lesser number of thefts of mobile phones in India. This is because there would be an IMEI database comprising of all activated IMEI numbers of mobile phones (and smartphones) in India.
In case you lose your mobile phones, you could apparently have a complaint registered at the local police station and seek the intervention of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to have the IMEI number of your phone deactivated (blocklisted). The DoT could reportedly be approached via a helpline number. Once done, your phone would be as good as dead – meaning cyber criminals would not be able to compromise your stored data. This should theoretically serve as deterrents for criminals to not to indulge in mobile phone lifting in India.
Now, the CEIR was said to have been piloted as early as in 2017 in Maharashtra, as per an Indian Express report. The report also hints at the imminent rollout of CEIR.
Then, in case you report your lost mobile device to the DoT, then there would reportedly be the IMEI-based lawful interception technique through which the IMEI number could get blocked (blacklisted). At this point in time, the DoT has mandated sales of mobile phones having an IMEI number. Devices without an IMEI number would be considered counterfeits.
In summary, the CEIR looks like a must-have at this juncture. But the process starting from recovering from a loss of mobile phone till approaching the DoT also needs simplification for effective/timely blocking of IMEI numbers (in case users so desire). Don’t you think so?