Philippines’ Privacy Commission Refocuses on Data Aggregators in the Midst of Text Scams

The Philippines’ National Privacy Commission (NPC) is now again looking into data aggregators for their alleged role in the ongoing spread of text scams nearly three weeks after the government agency minimized the role of these data corporations in the sham.

Back in September, the NPC dismissed the potential involvement of data aggregators in the numerous instances of smishing messages that were being reported, pointing out that these text-based scams were being delivered through personal SIM cards rather than application-to-phone (A2P) messaging.

“Smishing” refers to the illegal practice of sending text messages to persuade people to divulge sensitive information, like passwords or credit card details, or to download harmful software, like ransomware.



According to Leandro Angelo Y. Aguirre, NPC Deputy Commissioner, in an interview with DZMM that scammers have modified their techniques to trick consumers into providing them with private information wherein there are sender IDs once more that, for instance, claim that your bank account has been compromised and instruct you to click a specific link, even though SIM (subscriber identification module) cards are not used in these situations.

When asked if this would make it more difficult for law enforcement to track down these scammers, Aguirre disagreed, arguing that it was actually more challenging for them to apprehend individuals who were using prepaid SIM cards to send fraudulent text messages.

He further stated that they can contact these aggregators directly to learn more about their clients and identify which one of them submitted the message.

However, the NPC official responded that data aggregators would not necessarily be held accountable for these privacy invasions, suggesting that the client companies whose accounts may have been compromised should be the one held accountable.

Now, the NPC official claimed that their investigation had expanded to cover two areas: the current wave of personalized text frauds, as well as this relatively new scheme for defrauding mobile phone users.


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