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BSP Releases Guidelines Regulating Virtual Currencies Exchanges

BSP Releases Guidelines Regulating Virtual Currencies Exchanges

In its resolution dated 19 January 2017, the Monetary Board approved a new set of rules and regulations that would govern the operations of virtual currency exchanges in the country. The guidelines are to be incorporated in §4512N of the Manual of Regulations for Non-Bank Financial Institutions. The guidelines were made in recognition of the potential of virtual currencies in revolutionising the delivery of financial services and the risks that accompany it including consumer protection and the susceptibility to be used in illegal activities. The guidelines define the term a virtual currency, such as BitCoin, as any type of digital […]

Supreme Court Designates Cybercrime Courts

Supreme Court Designates Cybercrime Courts

  In its resolution dated 15 November 2016 in A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC, the Supreme Court en banc designated Special Commercial Courts as ‘Cybercrime Courts’. These courts now have the power to try and decide cases covered by the Cybercrime Prevention Act within their respective territorial jurisdictions. Accordingly, Cybercrime cases shall now be filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the proper cybercrime court. The resolution further gave Cybercrime Courts in Quezon City, Manila, Makati, and Pasig the authority to act on application for search warrants involving violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Such […]

Analysis: NPC Recommends Prosecution of COMELEC Chairman Bautista for Data Privacy Breach (Part I of II)

Analysis: NPC Recommends Prosecution of COMELEC Chairman Bautista for Data Privacy Breach (Part I of II)

  Last January 5, 2017, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) recommended the filing of criminal charges against COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista in the aftermath of the “Comeleak” incident. As of time of writing, the NPC has not yet released the full text of its decision. However, portions of the Commission’s reasoning can be read in an article on its official website. According to the NPC, the COMELEC Chairman’s culpability lies in his failure to take adequate measures to secure the COMELEC’s voter registration databases, which contains what the law defines as personal and sensitive personal information. Quoting the decision, the online article […]

Data Protection Officers: A Quick Guide

The Data Privacy Act of 2012 provides for security measures for the protection of personal data. Under Rule VI of the law, personal information controllers and personal information processors, shall, in appropriate cases, designate Data Protection or Compliance Officers as their representatives. These officers shall be held accountable for “ensuring compliance with applicable laws regarding the protection of data privacy and security.” [1] Data Protection Officers (DPOs), are mandated to ensure that data protection policies providing for organization, physical, and technical security measures are followed. The rights of data subjects are respected when the personal information controllers and processors, represented […]

The DICT as Indirect Regulator

The DICT as Indirect Regulator

A Look into the Department’s Potential for Impact on Telecommunications, Government Procurement and Coordination Among Agencies On May 20, 2016, Republic Act No. 1084, otherwise known as the “Department of lnformation and Communications Technology Act of 2015”, was signed into law. The Act’s Implementing Rules and Regulations have since been released as of October 15, 2016. Composed of administrative agencies formerly under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and which will remain autonomous, the DICT has several roles to play, among which are to ensure an increase in cyber security and monitor […]

Cybercrime search warrants and the role of ISPs

Cybercrime search warrants and the role of ISPs

Just like in any other crime, a search warrant is necessary to aid in the prosecution of cybercrime [i]. Aiming to protect the fundamental right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the policy of procuring search warrants for cybercrimes is definitely sensible on paper. However, the unique nature of data and computer systems makes it troublesome. Can service providers be the solution? The unique nature of search warrants in cyberspace The procurement of a search warrant is a crucial part of the criminal prosecution process. By means of the warrant, law enforcement officers can secure material pieces of evidence [ii]. Without such prior […]

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, […]

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act at a Glance

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act at a Glance

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act or R.A. No. 10913, which aims to promote the responsible use of electronic devices on the road and protect citizens from vehicular accidents, has become law on July 21, 2016. Here are five things you should know about this Act: The Act covers all kinds of land transportation vehicles, whether public or private. All motorists using hand-held mobile phones, computers and any similar electronic devices while driving, even when temporarily stopped at a red light,  are liable under the Act. Hence, sending or reading messages on a mobile device, making or receiving calls, playing electronic games, […]

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 […]