SIM card registration law may compromise privacy – Bayan | Inquirer News

SIM card registration law may compromise privacy – Bayan

/ 11:42 PM October 10, 2022
Poe says proposed SIM card registration will exclude registration of social media providers

SIM cards. (File photo from Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines — Concern about online scams is understandable, but the new SIM Card Registration Act might be used to compromise the data privacy of individuals, progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said in a statement on Monday.

“We understand the recent concerns over online scams, but sacrificing privacy is a more problematic response. The Philippine government is a notorious human rights violator for years now, and any measure that would compromise privacy rights should be seen as a danger,” Renato Reyes, Bayan secretary-general, said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The signed SIM Registration Law poses problems for privacy rights as the Philippine government is notorious for illegal surveillance and violations of data privacy. The SIM registration can become a vast surveillance network used against the people. The data that will be collected may not be kept safe as the Philippine government has previous incidents of data leaks (especially those involving election data),” he added.

Earlier in the day, President Ferdinand Marcos signed the SIM card bill into law, his first since assuming office on June 30.

FEATURED STORIES

Leaders of both the Senate and the House of Representatives — which ratified the bill just last Sept. 28 — praised the signing.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said it showed the Marcos administration’s intent to protect Filipinos from cybercrimes.

The law — Republic Act No. 11934 — requires phone users to register their SIM cards with telecommunication firms. That means they would need to show valid identification cards and a complete registration form.

Those who could not present a valid ID could instead present a National Bureau of Investigation clearance, police clearance, or a Philippine Statistics Authority-certified birth certificate with an ID picture.

Supporters of the law think it could be a weapon against online scams because authorities would be able to identify the owner of a SIM card used in the commission of a crime, including terrorism.

In recent hearings on text scams and spam messages on cell phones, lawmakers learned that authorities could not go after perpetrators of cybercrime due to inadequate laws.

The law signed by Marcos differs from the one passed by the previous 18th Congress was vetoed by then-President Rodrigo Duterte. In that version, social media accounts were also required to be registered to prevent online trolling.

ADVERTISEMENT

Duterte said he vetoed the bill because it would need more study.

RELATED STORIES

Bongbong Marcos signs into law SIM Card Registration Act

SIM card registration enactment lauded

Sufficient privacy safeguards in SIM Card Registration Act ensured

Duterte vetoes SIM Card Registration bill

—WITH A REPORT FROM CATHERINE DABU (TRAINEE)
ATM
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, privacy breach, Renato Reyes, SIM Card Registration Act
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.