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PH in data privacy crisis as cases of data compromise rise

A network of digital advocates said today that the Philippines is being plagued by a crisis on data privacy amidst the rising cases of data compromise.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that the recent incidents of hacking on government websites are more than enough proof of this crisis.

“When even government agencies are unable to protect the data that they are safekeeping, it is a telling sign of an ongoing crisis. And the government should treat it as such with utmost urgency.”

Gustilo added that many Filipino bank account holders are also falling for scam messages and calls due to the information that scammers have in their possession.

“Banking institutions should explain as to why there are scammers who possess important information on account holders. It’s worrisome that even the type of credit cards that the account holder owns are in the possession of these criminals. This must be investigated by the government.”

Recently, reports of scam calls made the rounds in social media and news outlets after the would-be victims almost trusted the caller after they were able to provide the correct information regarding their accounts. When the caller asked for the One-Time Passcode (OTP), the would-be victims would have fallen into the scammer’s attempt to breach their banking account. In another incident, a scammer tried to ask for the CVV of the credit card owned by a potential victim after the caller said that the card needs to be blocked because it was used in a suspicious transaction earlier.

“Clearly, the information in the hands of these scammers can only emanate from the banking institutions. They should explain and they should subject themselves to scrutiny after these incidents.”

Audit of cybersecurity infrastructure of banking institutions sought

Gustilo is also pushing for an audit of the cybersecurity infrastructure of banking institutions to determine their vulnerable points.

“If banking institutions will not be able to see where they are most vulnerable, then we could be looking at more breaches and more victims. The Department of Information and Communications Technology should spearhead this initiative and set the minimum standard for banking and other financial institutions and provide recommendations based on their findings.”

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys, National Campaigner