Why social media provision in SIM registration bill worries a rights advocate

Mico Abarro, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2022 08:36 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2022 11:49 AM

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MANILA—An Internet rights advocacy group on Saturday said it was worried the recently ratified SIM Card Registration Act's provision on social media accounts was "too vague" to be safely implemented.

Section 2 of the bill, which Congress approved earlier this week, says, "the State shall require the registration of SIM Cards for electronic devices and social media accounts by all users."

Democracy.net.ph co-founder Pierre Tito Gala told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo that the proposed measure did not define what would be considered social media. 

"Dahil ’pag hindi natin alam, pwedeng mahagip ’yung mga tinatawag na scholars ng Axie, or pwedeng mahagip ’yung mga naglalaro ng online games," Gala said. 

"Even worse, kung ang purpose nila is mangolekta ng online information ng tao baka naman sa IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulation) pati ’yung email addresses natin, or baka yung mga accounts for purposes of meeting other people like LinkedIn."

He added that centralizing data on registered SIM Cards could leave the data open to attack by hackers. 

"In this case, dahil centralized siya, ’pag inatake mo ’yung central database na ’yun, dapa na lahat. Lahat affected na," he said.