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Bill vs techy intruders mistaken as anti-selfie bill

/ 05:35 PM August 28, 2014

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—What anti-selfie bill?

Television reports said an “anti-selfie” bill was filed in the House of Representatives.

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The term stemmed from Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate’s statement saying the bill creates a “chilling effect on the media.”

“At the onset, HB 4807 will create a chilling effect on media and would especially affect citizen journalism particularly those who are trying to expose graft and corruption in government,” Zarate said.

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But what was actually referred to is titled “Protection Against Personal Intrusion Act” which seeks to “promote and protect the personal privacy of every person by preventing the personal privacy or property and enjoining everyone to respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of every person.”

The bill said it is unlawful to trespass on the privacy of a private person for commercial purposes.

The bill states that any person who “willfully intrudes into the personal privacy of another, without the consent of that person and with the intent to gain or profit therefrom, shall be civilly liable to the offended party.”

Examples of intrusion to one’s privacy are capturing by camera or sound recording device the “physical impression” of a person by trespassing on private property, or even when no physical trespass occurred.

The bill also allows the offended party to file a civil action against the intruder.

Zarate said “even an innocuous selfie with public figures inadvertently caught at the background would be liable for ‘intrusion of privacy.'”

“It would punish with civil action taking photos, video or even audio recording anything claimed as a personal or  family matter even of public officials and  personalities…This is absurd and we urge our colleagues to reconsider,” he added.

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Even the bill’s author was surprised.

Cagayan De Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said the bill did not even mention the word “selfie.”

“Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling ‘yung notion na anti-selfie ito. You read the bill, wala ni isang mention about selfie,” Rodriguez said in an interview on Thursday.

The proposed measure or House Bill 4807 advanced to the plenary after the public information committee endorsed the bill for plenary approval. The authors of the bill are Rodriguez, Abante Mindanao Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Buhay Rep. Jose Atienza, and Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil.

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TOPICS: anti-selfie bill, HB 4807, nation, News
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