SIM registration law failed to curb scams – group

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
SIM registration law failed to curb scams � group
Subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines —  Instead of eliminating text-based phone scams, the implementation of the SIM registration law allowed the proliferation of fraudulent SIM cards, experts and advocates said yesterday.

Members of the Junk SIM Registration Network, an alliance of digital experts, privacy advocates and consumers, staged a protest outside the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)office in Quezon City to call for repeal of the Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Registration Act.

“It’s not enough to say that the SIM Registration Law is ineffective against scams: the law actually strengthens scammers,” said Jenna Rodriguez, the group’s media officer.

“Despite its goal to reduce mobile-related scams, the law has instead helped its spread. Recent raids on Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) found bulks of falsely registered SIM cards used in various scams, including love scams, cryptocurrency scams and investment scams,” she added.

Rodriguez said SIM registration enabled scammers to hide their real identities, noting that no scammer has been arrested for violating the law.

She said their group urged “the government (to) focus on strengthening data privacy measures to protect the people’s private information.”

She also raised privacy issues, given that personal data of all Filipinos who own SIM cards are now stored in database, which may be hacked or illegally accessed.

The group said the NTC and President Marcos, who identified the measure as among his priority bills, should be held accountable for the negative impact of the law.

“We demand an independent investigation into the failures of the NTC and the SIM registration law,” she said.

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