Acosta: CCTV law aligns with Anti-Wiretapping Act

Acosta: CCTV law aligns with Anti-Wiretapping Act
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A DAVAO City Councilor clarified that the Amended Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Ordinance aligns with Republic Act No. 4200, the Anti-Wiretapping Act of 1965.

Luna Maria Dominique Acosta, first district councilor, said in a radio interview on Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Monday morning, May 13, 2024, that the ordinance doesn't violate the Anti-Wiretapping Act as long as establishments visibly display signage indicating CCTV surveillance.

“Dili siya ma conflict sa balaod as long as the place naa gyud siyay nakabutang na this place is secured by a CCTV system (It wouldn't conflict with the law as long as there's signage indicating that the establishment is secured by a CCTV system),” she said.

Acosta stressed that public awareness of CCTV presence, with cameras positioned visibly both inside and outside, eliminates expectations of privacy. She likened it to wiretapping, where individuals expect private conversations without being recorded.

Acosta clarified that if the public is properly informed about the CCTV system and the cameras are clearly visible inside and outside the establishment, it should not be seen as an invasion of privacy. She explained that once people see the CCTV cameras, they should understand that privacy expectations change; unlike wiretapping, where parties believe they're having a private conversation but are secretly recorded without consent.

Acosta added that as long as the public is well-informed of the CCTV system and the CCTV is in a conspicuous place inside and outside the establishment, it would not be considered disturbing one's privacy. She explained that once the public has observed that there are CCTVs in place, they should expect that they no longer have privacy, unlike wiretapping, in which both parties expect that they are the only ones talking and that they are secretly being recorded without permission.

“Diri man gyud blatantly kabalo ka nga naay CCTV, well-informed ka, maski makit-an nimo nga naay CCTV, wala na kay expectation of privacy ana (If you're well-informed and see CCTV cameras, don't expect privacy),” she said.   Addressing concerns about audio recording in some online-sold CCTVs, Acosta noted authorities can request CCTV footage from private homes through proper legal channels, emphasizing voluntary cooperation over coercion.

The amended CCTV ordinance, passed on November 21, 2023, prioritizes public safety. Non-compliance may lead to business permit issues, with penalties including fines up to P5,000 and imprisonment for tampering with CCTV footage. RGP

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