PLDT backs SIM card registration; invests almost P3 billion in cybersecurity in 2021

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2022 09:36 AM

MANILA — PLDT Inc and Smart Communications said it welcomed a House of Representatives committee's approval of the new SIM card registration bill.

The House Information and Communication Technology panel on Sept. 5 approved House Bill 14 or the proposed "Act Requiring The Registration of Subscriber Identity Module Cards." 
 
"Consumer online protection has always been one of Smart's advocacies. Safeguarding our customers against fraud is part of our commitment to ensure leveled-up customer experience," said PLDT Inc and Smart president and CEO Alfredo Panlilio said. 

"We reiterate our readiness to work hand-in-hand with the government, especially in protecting Filipino consumers. We also welcome any opportunity to support the legislative process and contribute to the crafting of the bill's implementing rules and regulations," he added.

Smart and PLDT said they're working with authorities and regulators as SMS-linked scams continue to evolve. Recent spam messages have become more personalized and now include the full name of some users. 

Smart said it had also intensified its own efforts against malicious text messages to defend consumers. The telco is blocking smishing messages as well as URLs linked to illegal activities, it said.

PLDT and Smart said nearly P3 billion was invested in cybersecurity infrastructure in 2021. 

A PLDT official earlier said the approval of the SIM card registration bill could significantly help in eradicating SMS-link fraudulent activities. 

The National Privacy Commission in its report said the information used to send personalized scam messages was unlikely collected from a data breach or contact-tracing forms. 

Both the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police are investigating the matter and are expected to release their findings in the coming weeks.

Lawmakers are also investigating the "alarming" rise in personalized text scam. 

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