PN file photo

Mobile wallet service provider GCash has upgraded privacy protection for its users by censoring their personal information in its send money service.

In a statement on Thursday, GCash chief information security officer Mark Frogoso said the update is an added layer of customer protection as the recipient’s name in the send money service was previously visible for “convenience” and to help verify the intended recipient.

Frogoso said there has been no data breach or leak in GCash’s systems and that the “data integrity” of the company’s roughly 66 million users remains intact.

“We have been working closely with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) on the issue of text scams with names. We wish to assure our customers that our systems and infrastructure remain secure and there is no incidence of any data leak or breach,” he said.

The new update, he said, would help strike a balance between customer experience and data security measures.

GCash has also migrated transaction confirmations from text messages to its mobile app inbox for improved security and easier access to transaction history.

Globe Telecom Inc. (Globe), GCash’s parent company, has spent PHP1.1 billion to boost its capabilities in detecting and blocking scams and spam messages following an unprecedented rise in such scams at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the NPC revealed that data aggregators — companies that collect data for commercial purposes — are unlikely the source of the recent wave of text scams containing the names of their receivers.

The privacy body continues to lead an investigation into such text scams and is currently looking into the name format of the victims and finding out whether these match with their names in payment applications, mobile wallets, and messaging apps. (PNA)

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