Raising concerns about data privacy in SIM registration requirements, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) convened with telecommunications companies to address the issues.
As the registration officially opened on Dec. 27, 2022, the public expressed concerns about personal information that they fear might be displayed online.
“Telcos must ensure the secure, ethical, and responsible handling of data, especially in all data processing being conducted in compliance with the SIM Registration Act (otherwise known as Republic Act No. 11934),” said Privacy Commissioner John Henry Naga. “Their obligation to comply with the SIM Registration Act comes hand-in-hand with ensuring that data privacy and protection is upheld. Such includes the implementation of mechanisms that would guarantee the security of the data collected for the purposes of the SIM Card Registration.”
Smart Communications Inc., (Smart) clarified that these are just optional and are being included to determine whether the SIM card is being used by an individual or a juridical entity. Globe Telecom (Globe) said that the option for their clients to allow the receipt of commercial and promotional alerts, and third-party sharing, among others.
Dito Telecommunity’s (DITO) SIM Card Registration, which can be accessed through its application did not include other tick-boxes asking for consent on marketing, profiling, or sharing with third-party partners.
Naga directed Telcos to totally remove the notices and tick-boxes pertaining to data sharing with third-party entities. He directed them to put on a separate page the notices and tick-boxes related to commercial and promotional alerts.
Telcos assured that the users have the ability to opt out from receiving promotional alerts through SMS and email request, among others. In addition, he instructed Smart, Globe, and DITO to include modifications and improvements on their websites and applications to further comply with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Telcos agreed and committed to implementing the changes on their SIM Card Registration websites and mobile applications as soon as possible. Telcos will remove the notices and tick-boxes related to commercial and promotional alerts until they have modified their websites and application to put these consent options on a separate page.