Telcos, bank forge agreement to fight text scams — Private Sector Advisory Council
MANILA, Philippines –Three major telecommunication companies and a bank have forged an agreement to implement measures against text scams and other forms of cyber crime, the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) said.
According to the PSAC, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the UnionBank of the Philippines (UnionBank), Globe Group, Smart Communications, and Converge ICT Solutions Inc.
The MOU signed on Friday outlined key steps, which include the development of a framework enabling the sharing of relevant data on fraudsters using technology for cyber fraud, the formation of Quick Response Teams composed of cybersecurity specialists to monitor and resolve cybersecurity incidents, and the taking down of malicious sites and phishing links.
“The MOU will also add teeth to the private sector’s anti-fraud initiative by providing for the taking down of malicious sites and phishing links,” PSAC said in a statement.
Earlier, the National Privacy Commission allowed telecommunication companies to share relevant data for fraud investigations.
PSAC said the agreement is the response of the telcos firms to Advisory Opinion 2021-06 issued by the National Privacy Commission (NPC) allowing for the sharing of relevant data for purposes of fraud investigations.
“It was a proactive response addressing the rising number of phishing and cybercrime cases,” PSAC said in a statement.
READ: Telcos ordered: Cooperate in text scam probe
“Together with our telecommunications partners: Globe, Smart and Converge, we want the digital Filipino to be protected from cyber crimes by ensuring that cyber criminals cannot hide behind the anonymity of prepaid numbers and the internet. We will hold them accountable. We want Filipinos to trust the banking system and their communications systems. We want the citizens to be 100% Digital. We want a secure Digital Filipino,” said UnionBank executive Henry Aguda, who also heads the PSAC’s Digital Infrastructure sector.
Globe Group president and CEO Ernest Cu said they support the initiative, saying that they “are committed to provide various solutions that will address the pain points of Filipinos, leveraging the latest digital technologies for a more sustainable future.”
Converge CEO and co-founder Dennis Uy, meanwhile, said they are one “with the community in preventing the proliferation of online fraud.”
Smart and PLDT President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio added that they have taken measures to fortify their cybersecurity, such as detecting and blocking scam texts, as well as the SIM cards that send them and the websites they lead to.
“These efforts are all part of a much broader program to elevate the quality of our customers’ experience by protecting them from threats and attacks,” said Panlilio.
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