[Mirror] De Leon, Ma. Bernardita

Summer 2012

patay! uv bn “hacked”… (a Filipino translation of “Oh, no! You’ve been hacked.”)

So here’s the thing, if a foreign citizen (not a Filipino) defaced any of our local (Filipino) websites, the effect of which would cause massive confusion, chaos and millions of (Philippine) pesos, I wonder… how can we make the culprits liable?

First to cross my mind is of course, are they even legally bound to answer to us? That would’ve been easy if these foreign nationals committed the act, which is an “online equivalent of vandalism”, here on Philippine Territory. But what if after an exhaustive investigation it was proven that the racketeers were not under our jurisdiction when they committed the crime? If you’re unfortunate enough to be victimized by these ‘professionals’, it will definitely make you want to just curl up and die. Reality check: the poll is indeed rising.

You see, jurisdiction is the key in order to prosecute and make them bound by our laws.

At present, extradition laws are in place where the requesting state (Philippines, in this case) is allowed by the requested state the deportation of a criminal and be subjected to proceedings as directed by our laws. However, a treaty or convention between these 2 nations must also be in force before entering into any extradition procedures. Both parties are bound by these agreement, which somehow appears to be different levels of limitations to the general public. An example would be is that it is discretionary upon either state whether they will allow their nationals to be extradited. So what’s the point, right?

Perhaps, there is a need for a review of existing laws, analyze what is now prevalent, and take it to the next level…

Apply Online… and be exposed

We Filipinos are, for lack of a better term, fanatics. We are followers of any current interest, sometimes short-lived craze, with exaggerated zeal. We love the idea of adapting to new things, new environment, because it allows us to show other nations our capacity to assimilate.

We are especially fond of the realization that technology became a very useful tool in adding convenience to our lives. So much so that we use it as often as our means permit us to do so. We’ve become so dependent upon it to the point of excessive use at time.

It is now apparent that pre-employment processes in any industry use technology and the internet as tools to expedite their jobs. Not far from reality is that some of these companies will use the same methods to continuously monitor the activities of their new hires and measure the latter based on the information the former would find. Without any of them realizing that privacy issues are being trampled upon.

And so we must ask ourselves this: Must we allow these ever eager companies or institutions to use social media tools as a method for hiring, relying heavily on the activity they would find therein to choose the best candidate? More importantly, must we accept as a company policy once hired, for our passwords on any or all social networking sites be submitted to these employers lest we find ourselves jobless thereafter?

I believe, as I’ve always believed, that rights of one must never overstep the rights of another. Hence, I would agree if most companies nowadays use the internet to make a background check on prospective employees. However, to require employees to surrender too personal information such as passwords on their Facebook (and the like) accounts, is already bordering on the privacy rights of their employees.

Let’s face it, whether we like it or not, nearly everyone can look up anyone on the net to get any information, juicy or otherwise, about them. It’s a trend, it is happening, it may be scary but there really is no law, no hard and fast rule, against it. So why waste your energy harboring on what cannot be regulated? Besides it’s fun… for most people, that is.

The real problem comes in when these companies exceed the use of their right to information which would now burden an employee notwithstanding his right to privacy.

Our 1987 Constitution in Article XIII, Section 3, provides for “…protection to labor…” with the Congress being ordered to make measures that would “…protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity… (Sec. 1 of the same article). Likewise, State Policies promote social justice and human rights in Sec. 11, Article II where,

“The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.”

and in Sec. 18 of the same article where,

“The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare.”

With all these in place, the employee must be given his right to privacy and thereby not be prejudiced with his refusal to give out personal information which would subject him to further scrutiny by his employer for the latter to measure if suited to maintain in their position. Any company or institution must not even be allowed to make such requirement as a matter of policy. And the State must look into this, as it is the practice now, in order to put a stop to it.

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