Bill seeks to penalize unauthorized access of consumers’ phone records

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Violators will be penalized with a P20,000 fine under a bill declaring as a criminal act the unauthorized access of consumers? phone records.

Camarines Sur representative Diosdado Arroyo and Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo filed House Bill 3045, which aims to further reinforce a person’s right to privacy in communications and correspondence.

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“Any unlawful intrusion to a person’s home and personal effects is a violation of this right but this also includes any person’s communication or correspondence, be it verbal or written,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo said due to innovations in information technology, this right to privacy has now been extended in scope to include even electronic ways of communicating.

The measure, to be known as the “Protecting Consumers’ Phone Records Act,” prohibits any person to acquire or use the customer proprietary network information and phone records information of another person without the persons’ affirmative written consent by making false or fraudulent statements or representations to an employee of a covered entity.

It is also unlawful for any person to make false or fraudulent statements or representations to a customer of a covered entity; provide a document to a covered entity knowing that such document is false or fraudulent or access customer accounts of a covered entity via the Internet, without prior authorization from the customer to whom such confidential phone records information relates.

The bill prohibits any person to misrepresent that another person has consented to the acquisition or use of such other person’s customer proprietary network information and phone records information in order to acquire such information.

Obtaining unauthorized access to the data processing system or records of a telecommunications carrier or an IP-enabled voice service provider in order to acquire the customer proprietary network information and phone records information of 1 or more other persons is prohibited under the proposed act.

Selling or offering for sale, customer proprietary network information and phone records information or requesting that another person obtain customer proprietary network information and phone records information from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled voice service provider in any manner that is unlawful is proscribed.

Furthermore, a provider of commercial mobile services, or any direct or indirect affiliate or agent of such a provider, may not publish, in printed, electronic, or other form, or sell or otherwise disseminate, an individual’s wireless telephone information held by any wireless directory assistance service, or any portion or segment.

The bill allows them to do so if the mobile service provider gives a conspicuous, separate notice to the customer informing the customer of the right not to be listed and obtains express prior authorization for listing from such customer, separate from any authorization obtained to provide such customer with commercial mobile service.

The bill also prohibits commercial mobile services from charging any customer for exercising his rights to privacy.

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