Data Privacy

Penalizing Cybersex

Penalizing Cybersex

  In the Philippines, the operation of cybersex dens is increasingly becoming a huge concern. From the early 2000s, various sex dens have been raided, resulting in the arrests of perpetrators and rescues of victims [1], some of them being minors as young as two years old [2]. Filling the gaps in previous laws, the Cybercrime Prevention Act can be provide authorities a powerful way address these offenses. Operation of cybersex dens in the Philippines In cybersex dens, clients pay to have cybersex workers perform sexually explicit acts over the internet. Operators usually maintain a website, where potential clients can […]

Privacy Rights of The Deceased

Privacy Rights of The Deceased

  Early last year, social media giant, Facebook, finally created a policy for its deceased users. A legacy contact, or a person designated by the user, can manage his account after his death. He can pin a post on the latter’s timeline, accept friend requests, update his profile picture, or download an archive of photos. What he couldn’t do however, is to read private messages. “We respect the privacy of those contacts. It didn’t make sense to include those messages,” Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch explained. In a way, Facebook is being instrumental in the move towards digital estate management, […]

Personal Data NOT Protected by Law

Personal Data NOT Protected by Law

Protection of personal data has become an important issue lately as people have become more conscious of their privacy and more wary of personal information that may be made available online. The Data Privacy Act (DPA) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), though aspiring to protect these personal data do not totally suppress the free flow of information, because their provisions do not protect all personal information from disclosure. Below are some personal information that can be freely exchanged by third parties without the consent of the data subject: those that are strictly related to the functions or position […]

Internet Service Providers: Can they be held liable for cybercrimes?

Internet Service Providers: Can they be held liable for cybercrimes?

One of the current challenges in cybercrime prevention legislation includes the determination of liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in offenses including cyber trafficking, copyright infringement, and the like. Undeniably, ISPs play a significant role as intermediaries in providing means for relaying information to internet users through their systems. While the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 outlines the responsibilities of ISPs with respect to the conduct of cybercrimes, certain provisions of the Act also exempt them from liabilities. As ISPs are not mere passive actors in the industry, our government should be more progressive in rethinking these exemptions granted to […]

Gaming Online Polls: How Hard Could It Be?

Gaming Online Polls: How Hard Could It Be?

  It is election season once again, and with it comes a slew of opinion polls showing this politician or that politician-to-be, as the nation’s favorite candidate (for the time being). These polls are conducted regularly, over a relatively long period of time, in order to reflect the vicissitudes of electoral whims. Now, since more than half of Filipinos are online, a number of these polls have been conducted through websites. The move is understandable as the benefits are obvious: using the net to reach out to participants is far more convenient and time-efficient than going to them personally, or […]

The Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009: A Primer

The Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009: A Primer

    The Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 A Primer The highly publicized sex videos of celebrity physician Hayden Kho with various celebrity partners rocked Philippine society in May 2009 and was quickly shared online and later distributed through DVD in the streets and sidewalks. In response to this, Congress passed Republic Act 9995 (Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009) to prevent the publication and distribution of similar material in the future.[1] The law prohibits recording videos or taking photos of a sexual act, the male or female genitalia, and of the female breast, among others, without […]

Facebook and the Expectation of Privacy

Facebook and the Expectation of Privacy

An Analysis of Vivares v STC In 2012, news came out involving the case of students who were not able to attend their high school commencement exercises after the school found out that photos where they were wearing bikinis and drinking alcohol were posted on Facebook. Aggrieved, the parents of the children filed a petition for a writ of habeas data which the Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed in July 2012. Two years hence, the Supreme Court (Court) affirmed the decision of the RTC and found that there is no violation of the privacy rights of the minors. The facts, […]

Mobile Phone Data and the Right against Warrantless  Searches and Seizures

Mobile Phone Data and the Right against Warrantless Searches and Seizures

An analysis of People v Enojas Are mobile phone data—phonebook contacts, messages, photographs, accounts, emails, etc., —subject to searches and seizure? This legal issue was touched upon in a recent case, People vs. Noel Enojas (G.R. No. 204894), which was decided by the Supreme Court on 10 March 2014. The case involves murder charges against four individuals prosecuted for the shooting of a police officer along Alabang-Zapote Road in Las Pinas City sometime in September 2006. After the shooting incident, the lawful authorities obtained a mobile phone owned by one of the suspects. The police then used the phone to […]

Informational Privacy in the Age of Facebook

Informational Privacy in the Age of Facebook

On September 29, 2014, the Supreme Court in Vivares v St. Theresa’s College rendered a decision laying down the rules on the extent to which social media users can have a reasonable expectation of privacy when using social networking sites. The case involved two minors who were graduating high school students of St. Theresa’s College (STC), who in 2012 took photos of themselves wearing only their underwear as they were changing into their swimsuits for a beach party. Other photos taken showed the girls smoking cigarettes and drinking hard liquor while another shows the girls wearing clothes that completely revealed […]

GMA News Interviews Atty. Disini on Internet Law Issues

GMA News Interviews Atty. Disini on Internet Law Issues

Tackling the prevalence of online activies, GMA TV program “News to Go” recently featured Atty. JJ Disini as expert guest on Internet Law. Hosted by Howie Severino, the interview focused on Philippine legal dilemmas spurred by technological developments, such as the Internet. Atty. Disini emphasized that cyber- crimes, both of unauthorized access and authorized access, are punishable under the E-Commerce Act. He noted that violations can still occur even where access is allowed as in the case of employees. The most common cyber crimes were also discussed. Atty. Disini first cited the widespread practice of sharing and downloading files, which […]

Read more about the Data Privacy practice at Disini & Disini Law Office