The Daily Yomiuri reports on an agreement among Japanese mobile phone providers and the government that seeks to combat "remittance fraud," but the deal also involves customers’ personal data being released to the police. (There are several types of remittance fraud. The Daily Yomiuri explains, "In one particularly common style of remittance fraud, a con man concludes several dozen contracts under one name using a forged driver’s license. He and his accomplices then concoct stories and begin calling people to try to persuade them to send money.")
As part of the new agreement, people applying for mobile phone contracts will have their identification confirmed by the police. "If a customer refuses to submit to the policy inquiry, firms will decline a contract, and will contact police if they become suspicious about a customer," reports the Daily Yomiuri .
Some individuals do use mobile phones for criminal activity. However, there are many legal reasons an individual would want a mobile phone that couldn’t be traced back to her. Such individuals could be whistleblowers or investigative reporters.