Maray, Vanessa Fe

SY 2012-2013, Second Semester


How does Republic Act 10173 impacts or affects my life intimately?

This is the first time that I created a blog and I do not know how and where to start given a topic of how Republic Act 10173 affects my intimate life.

Republic Act 10173 or otherwise known as Data Privacy act of 2012 is an act protecting individual personal information in Information and Communication System in the Government and Private Sector, creating for this purpose a National Privacy Commission and for other purposes. Data Privacy Act of 2012 has been approved by President Aquino on August 15, 2012.

Section 2 of Republic Act 10173 provides:

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the State to protect the fundamental human right of privacy, of communication while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth.

It is the policy of the State to protect our right of privacy of communication from unauthorized access of our private information or from hackers that want to harm us.

With the advent of technology, many social networking sites are surfacing catering services for the general public without fees. Registering online with these social networking sites may put a person’s privacy to an open book for netizens to look.

Facebook as one of the largest online social networking sites helped me to reconnect with distant relatives, old friends, classmates, and teachers in elementary and high school, keeps me updated to the activities of my friends, co-workers as well as meeting new friends online. I also send messages to one of my relatives working abroad through Facebook. With this social networking site I found a trusted online shop where I buy merchandises and/or pre-order items imported from Korea and Japan.

Last August, my raffle stub got picked in the leading Philippine clothing brand, Bench for “SiHae event”. SiHae is the combination of names of Choi Siwon and Lee Donghae who are members of the largest 13-member group in Korea, Super Junior. With the unending requests of fans Bench welcomed these two idols in their family and they became Bench endorser for the clothing line. At the event, my number was drawn and I am one of the few to have a group picture taken with these two idols. After the taking of the picture Siwon shake my hands. I went to Donghae and he hugged me. When I go down the stage, I went to my friends screaming who were so happy for me and my friends immediately hugged me. When I checked my Facebook account I received many friend requests. These friend requests keep on increasing for almost a week I guess. I then edited Facebook privacy settings from “public” to “private.” I used to accept friend requests as long as I see that we have many common friends even if I do not personally know him or her. I learned a lesson from other people’s mistakes and would not accept friend requests from individuals who I do not know or meet personally.

Facebook has many online users and this social networking could be used as a tool to harm others. I have read news about Facebook where a teenager was raped by the man she met on Facebook. The man is physically disabled and he dupe 13-year old girl and her parents that he was 13-year old boy in wheelchair but in fact he is already 28-years old. He further stated that his medication made him overweight and prematurely aged him. The victim’s father stated “Facebook is known as a benign and fun tool to share jokes on, but you do not know who is hiding behind the people unless you know them.” I agree that sometimes people used the identity of another person making you believe that it is him but in fact he is not. You can only be sure if you really know the person. There have been many posers or fake accounts. Using other people’s identity and putting in some private information of that stolen identity is a common tool to lure the victims. Sometimes we tend to believe that it was really someone that we know because of some information being posted on Facebook.

Section 3(g) and (l) of Republic Act 10173 provide:

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – Whenever used in this Act, the following terms shall have the respective meanings hereafter set forth:

(g) Personal information refers to any information whether recorded in a material form or not, from which the identity of an individual is apparent or can be reasonably and directly ascertained by the entity holding the information, or when put together with other information would directly and certainly identify an individual.

(l) Sensitive personal information refers to personal information:

(1) About an individual’s race, ethnic origin, marital status, age, color, and religious, philosophical or political affiliations;

(2) About an individual’s health, education, genetic or sexual life of a person, or to any proceeding for any offense committed or alleged to have been committed by such person, the disposal of such proceedings, or the sentence of any court in such proceedings;

(3) Issued by government agencies peculiar to an individual which includes, but not limited to, social security numbers, previous or cm-rent health records, licenses or its denials, suspension or revocation, and tax returns; and

(4) Specifically established by an executive order or an act of Congress to be kept classified.

I always include my personal information when buying items online as it was needed so the seller could determine that it was really me.

Twitter an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages also helped me to communicate with my friends. This social networking site also gives the “followers” updated information like in twitter account of PAG-ASA where they informed netizens of the status of the typhoon.

The use of mobile phones also made communications easier. Communication would not be a hindrance for people to communicate even though they are miles apart.

With the invention of these mobile phones I stay connected with my family and friends. I used to send my mother SMS of where I am at, where I am going, if I am already on my way home, and if I got home early and she is still outside. I believe this lessened her worries about me.

Years ago I received a call from someone telling me that the university where I graduated has recommended me and she offered me a work. I nicely told the person on the other line that I am currently working. She then told me that I can work for them part-time. I asked for the job description she is offering but she told me that I should visit their office to know. She gave me the details, where the office is located, and the date and time. When the call ended I became curious and immediately went online and searched for the name of the office and I learned that it is like a scam. How did she know my name? How did she get my number? How did she know where I graduated? These questions were answered when I searched online and found my name with the school where I graduated. How about my mobile number? I remember that I typed my number in Facebook so I deleted my number there. I have been using my mobile number since college it could also be that someone gave my number to her. Maybe I am just overreacting. In the end I did not bother to go that place.

Section 25 of Republic Act 10173 provides:

SEC. 25. Unauthorized Processing of Personal Information and Sensitive Personal Information.

(a) The unauthorized processing of personal information shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) year to three (3) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00) but not more than Two million pesos (Php2,000,000.00) shall be imposed on persons who process personal information without the consent of the data subject, or without being authorized under this Act or any existing law.

(b) The unauthorized processing of personal sensitive information shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from three (3) years to six (6) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00) but not more than Four million pesos (Php4,000,000.00) shall be imposed on persons who process personal information without the consent of the data subject, or without being authorized under this Act or any existing law.

Section 26 of Republic Act 10173 provides:

SEC. 26. Accessing Personal Information and Sensitive Personal Information Due to Negligence.

(a) Accessing personal information due to negligence shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) year to three (3) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00) but not more than Two million pesos (Php2,000,000.00) shall be imposed on persons who, due to negligence, provided access to personal information without being authorized under this Act or any existing law.

(b) Accessing sensitive personal information due to negligence shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from three (3) years to six (6) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00) but not more than Four million pesos (Php4,000,000.00) shall be imposed on persons who, due to negligence, provided access to personal information without being authorized under this Act or any existing law.

Penalties for the unauthorized processing of personal information deserves more than the minimum penalty.

It is best that Republic Act 10173 has been approved to protect us but even if there is Republic Act 10173 to penalized those who processed personal information and sensitive personal information without authorization and to those individuals who access personal information and sensitive personal information due to negligence we should still be very careful in giving our personal information as this could put us in more harm than not.


Is Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom better than Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012?

Information and technology has become part of our daily lives. We use mobile phones to send an SMS message or call someone directly, use Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) at the bank, use computers to surf the internet, send e-mails, and connect with friends, families, or even relatives abroad through social networking sites. [1] Nowadays, banking transactions can be made online. In the industry, production has increased as it is not totally dependent to manual labor. With e-commerce, the distribution, buying, selling, and servicing of products are done electronically.[2]

Technology has benefits but also gives a negative impact. Due to modern technology, people do not interact personally with one another as often as they used to. Newspaper companies, music and movie industries have been affected by information and technology. [3] The American newspaper industry suffered irreversible revenue drops in advertising and print which lead to some newspaper industry to close their business. Filipino newspaper industries are adapting and some have gone digital already.[4] Some people would buy music online for free or at a minimal cost instead of going to music stores and buying CDs. [5]

Republic Act 10175

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10175) was passed into law in response to hacking, cracking, identity theft, spamming, cybersex, and pornography. Republic Act 10175 has been passed as a law with the inserted controversial provision of online libel. Senator Tito Sotto proudly owned up to the fact that he was responsible for inserting the libel clause into the law. Senator Chiz Escudero called the insertion a “mistake” and has said that he’ll move to have the law repealed. [6] Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile stated that he will leave it to the Supreme Court to ultimately decide on its constitutionality. [7]

Numerous petitions were filed against Republic Act 10175 claiming certain provisions as unconstitutional and violative of the citizen’s fundamental and basic rights.

The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order stopping the implementation of Republic Act 10175 for 120 days.

Senate Bill 3327

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago proposed a law entitled Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (Senate Bill 3327). Senate Bill 3327 is to replace the controversial anti-cybercrime law, Republic Act 10175.

According to Senator Santiago, a group of software designers, IT specialists, academics, bloggers, engineers, lawyers, human rights advocates were involved in the drafting of the Magna Carta and formulated the draft bill through discussions in an open Facebook group, email, Google Hangout teleconferences, and social media channels like Twitter.

Is the Senate Bill 3327 better than Republic Act 10175?

Senator Santiago said that Republic Act 10175 violates the right to privacy and the constitutional guarantee against illegal search and seizure through allowing the warrantless real-time collection. The Senate Bill 3327 on the other hand guarantees the right against illegal searches and seizures.

“The Senate Bill 3327 ensures due process by providing strict guidelines for any collection of any data, including the securing of warrants, obligating notification, and limiting seizure to data and excluding physical property,” Senator Santiago said.

Senator Santiago said that the Senate Bill 3327 mandates government agencies to provide security for the data they collect from citizens to ensure their right to privacy. The dangerous ‘takedown’ clause of Republic Act 10175, where the government may have a website or network blocked or restricted without due process of law, is absent in the Senate Bill 3327.

“The Senate Bill 3327 specifically provides for court proceedings in cases where websites or networks are to be taken down and prohibits censorship of content without a court order,” Senator Santiago said.

The Senate Bill 3327 also prohibits double jeopardy. Republic Act 10175 allows double jeopardy through prosecution of offenses committed against its provisions and prosecution of offenses committed against the Revised Penal Code and special laws, even though the offenses are from a single act. [8]

Conclusion

Republic Act 10175 is too broad and certain provisions are violative of our constitutional rights such as right to freedom of speech, right to privacy, right to reasonable searches and seizures, and the most controversial “online libel” which is vague. Netizens can be liable just by the act of clicking the “like” button on Facebook or retweeting posts on Twitter. Republic Act 10175 is unconstitutional.

The Senate Bill 3327 proposed by Senator Santiago is better than Republic Act 10175. The drafting of the Senate Bill through crowdsourcing is a nice one as netizens have contributed and because they are the ones to be greatly affected. If the Senate Bill 3327 the one to replace the Cybercrime Act of 2012 and be passed as a law, the netizens would be protected and at the same time the wrongdoers punished.


Endnotes

[1] “Information and Communications Technology – Really Useful” (http://www.rug.ie/uploads/xstandard/PAGE%2069-82%20ICT.pdf)

[2] “ICT in everyday life” (http://smklangkawi.edu.my/blogict/?p=12)

[3] “The Negative Effects Of Advancing Technology On Society” (http://www.articleonlinedirectory.com/128143/the-negative-effects-of-advancing-technology-on-society.html)

[4] “Philippine Newspapers: Transitioning Pioneers Of Philippine Media” (http://www.top-destination-choice-the-philippines.com/philippine-newspapers.html)

[5] The Music Industry’s New Internet Problem – Businessweek (http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2009-03-06/the-music-industrys-new-internet-problembusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice)

[6] “Digital Martial Law: 10 scary things about the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012” (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276434/scitech/socialmedia/digital-martial-law-10-scary-things-about-the-cybercrime-prevention-act-of-2012)

[7] Enrile: Where was Miriam when Cybercrime law was passed? (http://www.rappler.com/nation/13774-jpe-where-was-miriam-when-cybercrime-law-was-passed)

[8] “Santiago proposes Magna Carta for Internet | Inquirer Technology” (http://technology.inquirer.net/20769/santiago-proposes-magna-carta-for-internet)

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