Bill protecting mobile phone subscribers filed

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - December 20, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A bill at the Senate is seeking to penalize people selling data of mobile phone subscribers and accessing without authority accounts through the Internet.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed Senate Bill 2411 to protect consumers’ phone records to implement the constitutional right to privacy of communication and correspondence.

It would provide measures to make it difficult to access the phone records of a consumer, she said.

Santiago said the bill would make illegal the unauthorized acquisition, use or sale of confidential customer propriety network telephone information.

Any person would be prohibited to acquire or use the customer propriety network information and phone records information of another person without his or her written consent, she said.

Santiago said it would be unlawful to access customer accounts of a covered entity via the Internet, without prior authorization from the customer to whom the confidential phone records information pertains.

The bill would also penalize people misrepresenting another person in consenting to the acquisition or use of their customer proprietary network information and phone records information.

It would also prohibit the unauthorized access to the data processing system or records of a telecommunications carrier or an IP-related voice service provider to acquire the customer proprietary network information and phone records information of one or more persons.

The measure, however, supports existing laws that authorize investigative, protective or intelligence activity of a law enforcement agency or an intelligence agency of the Philippines.

The bill contains a proviso that would bar the provider of commercial mobile services or any direct or indirect affiliate or agent from providing the wireless telephone number information of any customer to any wireless directory assistance service without his or her approval.

A clause seeks to prohibit charging of any fee on customers for retaining their privacy.

It would allow a telecommunications carrier or IP-related voice service provider to bring a civil action in court against any person or group violating the law.

Damages would be P20,000 for every violation or any amount which the court may find fitting against the perpetrator.

Violators would be subject to a civil penalty of P20,000 for each violation or each of a continuing violation, except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed a total of P20,000 for any single act or failure to act.

An individual injured as a direct result of his or her confidential proprietary network information being obtained, used or sold in violation of law may file a civil action in court.

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