Anti-Selfie Bill hit-A A +A
Friday, August 29, 2014
A BAYAN Muna representative hit on Friday the "Anti-Selfie Bill," which he said will affect those who have cellular phone cameras since the provisions are "so broad."
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate said the House Bill (HB) 4807 or "Anti-Selfie Bill" would cover even those innocently taking "selfies" or "groupies" and those paparazzis pursuing news stories.
"At first glance, the terms used in these provisions may seem harmless and well meaning. Yet, a deeper look at how they will impact in everyday lives is truly worrisome. It affects not only those in the media profession but everyone," Zarate said in a statement.
He said the misleading title of the bill, "Protection against Personal Intrusion Act," cannot hide "its serious implications on freedom of expression and press freedom."
According to HB 4807, the acts considered an intrusion into the personal privacy of another and shall be presumed to have been committed with the intent to gain or profit include "capturing by a camera or sound recording instrument of any type of visual image, sound recording or other physical impression of the person; trespassing on private property in order to capture any type of visual image, sound recording or other physical impression of any person; and capturing any type of visual image, sound recording or other physical impression of a person or family activity through the use of a visual or auditory enhancement device even when no physical trespass has occurred, when the visual image, sound recording or other physical impression could not have been captured without a trespass if no enhancement device was used."
Section 4 of the bill says any person whose personal privacy was intruded as defined may file a civil action against the person who committed the intrusion, obtain any appropriate relief, including compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive and declaratory relief.
Any person obtaining relief may be either the person whose visual or auditory impression has been captured or the owner of the private property trespassed to capture the visual image, sound recording or other physical impression of another.
"The fact that no visual image, sound recording or other physical impression of a person was actually sold for gain or profit shall not be available as a defense in any civil action or proceeding for the enforcement of the provisions of this act," the bill stated.
The only exemption from this act is legitimate law enforcement activities.
Zarate urged his colleagues in the Congress to reconsider the bill.
"We welcome the openness of the bill's authors to bring HB 4807 back to the committee level so that we can carefully review and scrutinize the bill, for its possible amendments or revision," Zarate said.
The bill is authored by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Maximo Rodriguez, Jorge Almonte, Gwendolyn Garcia, Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Lito Atienza and Leopoldo Bataoil.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 30, 2014.