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Police Cautioned Against 'Intrusive' Social Media Monitoring

Respect users rights, says National Privacy Commission.
by John Paulo Aguilera
Sep 8, 2020
Photo/s: Philippine National Police

The National Privacy Commission said the Philippine National Police should recognize data privacy rights when it pushes through with its plan to monitor social media for quarantine violators.

Gathering leads and evidence online for law enforcement has to be done legally, said Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro. "By monitoring social media, the police must use techniques that are not privacy intrusive," he said.

Over the weekend, the PNP said it scoured social networking sites for videos, photos, and posts of mass gatherings, celebrations, and street parties. Joint Task Force COVID Shield Chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar described Filipinos as "hard-headed" based on what he saw.

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Law enforcers should undergo proper training before monitoring social media to build public trust, Liboro 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 said.

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