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SIM registration bill now only awaits President Duterte's approval

SIM registration bill is just a step away from becoming law as it now only awaits the signature of the President.
File photo of a SIM card

For safer and more secure mobile use and cyberspace

In our previous report, the House of Representatives passed the final reading to approve the final reading on the bill to mandate SIM card registration in the Philippines. About a week after that, the Senate approved the third and final reading of the said bill.

The SIM Card Registration Act is proposed to restrain fraud and other crimes related to using unregistered SIM cards. This one also covers a provision against online trolls. 

Under this act, social media account providers must require a real name and phone number upon account creation. It also mandates all public telecommunications entities (PTEs) to register SIM cards before selling and activating them.

Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe added that all existing SIM card subscribers with active services shall register within 180 days once the law is enacted. To recall, Poe is the bill's sponsor in the Senate as chairperson of the Senate public service committee.

During the meeting, Poe stated that the sale of SIM cards to foreign nationals shall be allowed. However, they should comply with specific requirements. including their passport and proof of address in the Philippines. 

For data privacy, the data collected from the SIM registration shall be stored by the public telco concerned. It must be forwarded to a centralized database that must "strictly serve as a register for the processing, activation or deactivation of subscription and shall not be used for any other purpose." The senator explained,

Whatever information obtained in the registration process cannot be disclosed to any person except in compliance with any law authorizing disclosure, such as in the case of the Data Privacy Act; or in compliance with a court order or any other legal process; or with the written consent of the subscriber. No waiver of absolute confidentiality is allowed.

There's also an "important provision" that was added during the bi-cameral meeting. It allegedly orders PTEs and social media providers to keep relevant data and information for 10 years from when the end-user deactivates their mobile number or social media account.

Poe said that they hope that this measure would be able to eliminate criminal activities that use mobile phones, the Internet, or electronic communication-aided devices. She added that the passage of the bill 
 will result in safer and more secure mobile use and cyberspace in the Philippines.

What do you think?

Source: Inquirer

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