‘More harm than good’ | IT experts say proposed SIM card registration dangerous

Photo by Daniel Asido/Bulatlat


MANILA – Progressives held a protest action today, Oct. 4, to denounce the proposed SIM card registration measure, warning the people of the danger it poses, particularly on privacy and data surveillance.

“We see the dangers it poses to the public, especially now that our data seemed to have been leaked, and that the collected information were not protected,” said Computer Professionals Union (CPU) Secretary General Kim Cantillas.

The proposed measure was once vetoed by former President Rodrigo Duterte but was refiled following the reopening of the Philippine Congress to supposedly address the rampant text scams in the country.

Read: IT experts: SIM card registration will not cure text scams
Read: SIM card registration prone to hacking, non-solution to spamming

Claims debunked

In the protest action held this morning in Mendiola, a stone’s throw away from Malacañang, tech experts said it will bring more harm than good, especially since activists, journalists, and those critical of government policies may be subjected to surveillance.

“They have been repeatedly pushing for this bill but it really goes against our privacy. In the hands of the government that does not want to be held to account, that is afraid of the truth, they will surely use this (SIM card registration) to curtail the rights of the people,” said Cantillas.

Tech experts also warned of the logistical nightmare it will pose for telecommunication companies, especially for the poor and those residing in far-flung communities. Among the information that will be collected from existing subscribers should this law be passed are: their full names, date of birth, and addresses.

To combat the rampant text scams, Cantillas said the Data Privacy Act must be strengthened. (JJE, RVO) (https://www.bulatlat.org)

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