Selling prelisted SIM cards illegal, agency reminds public
The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Thursday issued an advisory reminding the public that selling preregistered SIM (subscriber identification module) cards is illegal, warning that individuals caught selling these will face stiff penalties under the law.
The government’s privacy watchdog said recent cases in which people selling SIM cards that have been registered for an average price of P1,000 have drawn its attention.
“This practice is not only prohibited under the SIM Registration Act (Republic Act No. 11934) but it also places data subjects in a vulnerable position, exposing them to potential legal repercussions, risks, and harms if a SIM card, registered in their name, is misused for illicit activities,” the NPC said in a statement.
The NPC said that severe penalties await those involved in the sale and transfer of registered SIM cards without properly informing the concerned telecommunications firm.
Under Section 11-g of the SIM Registration Act, individuals found engaging in this act may be subject to imprisonment ranging from six months to six years, a fine of P100,000 to P300,000, or both.
“The NPC earnestly urges all data subjects to take heed of this advisory and to remain vigilant against participating in any actions that may put at risk their personal data,” said the NPC.
In light of these, the NPC also gave some recommendations to protect the public from these shady practices, including educating them about the legal and privacy implications of registering and selling SIM cards.
Likewise, it said that the public should be cautious of individuals offering to purchase their SIM cards and to report these suspicious activities.
“If you are approached with offers to sell your registered SIM card, report such incidents to your telecommunications service provider. Timely reporting can help prevent potential misuse of your personal data,” the NPC said.
The public should also promptly report to the telecommunications company any changes in the ownership of their SIM cards and to adhere to legal requirements when selling or transferring ownership.