A network of digital advocates urged the public today to ditch Viber after numerous persons recieved personalized spam messages with their Viber-registered usernames included in the text.
Digital Pinoys national campigner Ronald Gustilo said that while Viber claims their messages are secured with end-to-end encryption, they are yet to address the queries of its numerous subscribers as to why spammers were able to get hold of their information that was used to register with the messaging app.
“Viber should explain as to how the names and mobile numbers of many of its subscribers were included in numerous targeted spam messages. Most of them are saying that the mobile number or the name used for the messaging app were exclusively for that messaging app yet spammers were able to get hold of it, which is why we are urging the public to ditch Viber”
Gustilo added that the public can use other reputable messaging applications with end to end encryption system. He however urged the public to be also cautious on choosing which messaging platform will they be using.
“The public can choose other secured messaging platforms who are not being looked at to be the possible source of leaked personal information being used in spam texts. These apps are also equipped with end to end encryption. The most popular options for the public are Signal, Telegram and Whatsapp. However, we err on the side of caution when it comes to Whatsapp as it is also owned by Meta Platforms which is also being looked at to be one of the sources of personal information being used in personalized spam mesages.”
Gustilo is also asking the National Privacy Commission to launch an investigation on Viber and other possible entities already being mentioned as possible sources of personal information being used by spammers, namely a popular e-money platform and the most popular social media site Facebook.
“The NPC should immediately look at the possible sources, especially those beingn mentioned frequently so that they will be able to address and mitigate the problem as soon as possible. The public have already had enough of this privacy mess.”
Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner