Banning all text with URLs would ‘cripple’ customers’ ability to log in – Smart

Smart says he considered taking a similar move by Globe, but decided otherwise, citing customers’ right to freedom of communication

MANILA, Philippines — Smart, in an apparent response to Globe’s decision to ban all text containing links to websites, said on Friday, September 30 that “a comprehensive ban on texting links would cripple the ability of our customers to connect with their business. networks and community.

The phone company said it also considered making a similar move to curb rising smishing, but ultimately decided to do otherwise.

“After further study, however, we have decided to forgo this approach. Notably, neither the National Telecommunications Commission nor the National Privacy Commission ordered a ban on clickable links in text messages,” said Angel Redoble, Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT and Smart.

Smart uses a selective approach, blocking texts that instead contain URL shorteners which “have been shown to be used by SMS spammers”. Smart also mentioned blocking data aggregators that have been implicated in sending smishing messages, continuing to cooperate with government investigations and outreach programs to combat the wave of smishing messages, such as Globe.

“We believe smishing is best tackled with nuance, wielding a scalpel, not an axe. We take a multi-pronged approach to targeted smishing,” said Leah Jimenez, Chief Data Privacy Officer of PLDT and Smart.

Jimenez added that the company “has not lost sight of the need to protect our customers’ right to privacy and freedom to communicate.”

Globe’s Chief Information Security Officer, Anton Bonifacio, in a press release made before Smart, explained his measures: “Before implementing this measure, we were blocking access to malicious links in text messages to help protect customers. This time we block the actual message. If the SMS contains any link, we won’t deliver it, period. This is necessary to protect our customers.

Globe also said it has spent $20 million, or about 1.1 billion pesos, to date to more effectively detect and block scams and spam from international and domestic sources. –

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