Imee: Mandatory Sim Registration No Excuse For Telco Complacency

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Senator Imee Marcos warned telecommunications companies against letting their guard down in protecting their customers’ personal data, after both houses of Congress signed the final version of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Act.

Marcos said text scammers offering instant cash or non-existent jobs will continue to dodge the data security capabilities of telcos while the SIM Act awaits the President’s signature.

Telco customers will also remain vulnerable during the 180-day transition period when existing pre-paid and post-paid subscribers are required to register their SIMs should the law take effect, the senator added.

“Those who have bought new SIM cards are reporting scam messages even before they have made their first online transaction. So where is the data security breach taking place?” Marcos asked.

Marcos acknowledged that telcos have spent billions on beefing up the security of their subscriber databases but added that laxity and the temptation of gaining huge profits can undo the work of lawmakers.

“We can’t deny that scam texts also translate to millions in income for telcos. Mandatory SIM registration, should it become law, will not be an instant solution and will need the utmost cooperation of telcos,” Marcos said.

Besides improving digital security, the senator suggested that telcos also improve packaging security that prevents vendors from sharing pre-paid SIM card numbers with scammers.

Marcos pointed out that pre-paid SIM cards make up the majority of telco subscriptions because these are cheaper and easily available.