NPC to PNP: Respect privacy rights in social media

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The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has warned the Philippine National Police (PNP) that it cannot go beyond the boundaries set by law for its plan to monitor social media for quarantine violators.

In a statement issued on Monday, Sept. 7, NPC chair Raymund Liboro said the PNP must recognize the data privacy rights of individuals.

“In keeping communities safe in this pandemic, leads and evidence gathered from social media and other digital tools to enforce the law must be legally obtained,” said Liboro.

In monitoring social media, the NPC chief said the police must use techniques that are not privacy intrusive. “Law enforcers should be trained to use the medium effectively and reliably to build the confidence and trust of the public, especially netizens,” he said.

“It is essential for the police to allay the fears of the community by explaining the measures they employ in enforcing quarantine rules and evaluating possible violators, how they observe the rights of the citizens, and how they mitigate the risks to individuals’ privacy,” he added.

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