Artificial intelligence pushed to bolster SIM Registration Act
MANILA, Philippines — The government should tap artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the country’s SIM Registration Act amid cases of fraud and scams proliferated through text messaging, a citizen’s group said.
CitizenWatch co-convenor and former legislator Christopher Belmonte said that while the SIM Registration Act has good intentions, it had failed to “protect mobile users from being bombarded with scams and other messages.”
The group noted that despite the law’s verification measures, scams continue to spread as it can be easy to fake one’s identity and continue using a SIM card.
“Text scams, cryptocurrency scams, and even human trafficking remain possible by simply exploiting the loopholes,” Belmonte explained in a statement on December 23.
To curb such cases, AI can be used to detect and block suspicious mobile connections, he said.
“AI, when harnessed properly, has the power to revolutionize and elevate our fight against fraudsters. It will be a strategic weapon that can be integrated with a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to a complex and evolving problem,” the former lawmaker noted.
CitizenWatch noted that other countries, including India, have already used AI for their SIM subscriber verification.
The group likewise suggested that the government “intensify its collaboration with the private sector” by giving telecommunications companies secure access to subscribers’ valid government IDs to aid in verifying their identities.
Belmonte also urged the government to beef up its database security to prevent cybercriminals from stealing sensitive data.
Apart from text messages, scams also proliferate via email, where cybercriminals steal data from users through “phishing” links.
Data from cybersecurity firm Surfshark shows that 124 million accounts in the Philippines have been compromised through phishing links since 2004, the second highest among countries in Southeast Asia.