Consti 22017.docx - C PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION AND...

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C. PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE DISINI vs. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE The government of Philippines adopted the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 for the purpose of regulating access to and use of cyberspace. Several sections of the law define relevant cybercrimes and enable the government to track down and penalize violators. Petitioners argue that provisions on cyberspace activities violate certain of their constitutional rights. Section 12 of the Act authorizes the law enforcement without a court warrant “to collect or record traffic data in real-time associated with specified communications transmitted by means of a computer system.” Traffic data under this Section includes the origin, destination, route, size, date, and duration of the communication, but not its content nor the identity of users. The Petitioners argued that such warrantless authority curtails their civil liberties and set the stage for abuse of discretion by the government. They also claimed that this provision violates the right to privacy and the Section 12 are too broad and do not provide ample safeguards against crossing legal boundaries and invading such right. Issue: WON Section 12 of Cybercrime Prevention Act violates right to privacy? Ruling: Yes. The Court recognizes that certain constitutional guarantees work together to create zones of privacy wherein governmental powers may not intrude, and that there exists an independent constitutional right of privacy. Such right to be left alone has been regarded as the beginning of all freedoms. But that right is not unqualified. United States Supreme Court classified privacy into two categories: decisional privacy and informational privacy. Decisional privacy involves the right to independence in making certain important decisions, while informational privacy refers to the interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters. Court recognized that the right at stake concerned informational privacy, defined as “the right not to have private information disclosed, and the right to live freely without surveillance and intrusion.” Two part test in determining expectation to right of privacy: In determining whether a communication is entitled to the right of privacy, the Court applied a two- part test: (1) Whether the person claiming the right has a legitimate expectation of privacy over the communication, and (2) whether his expectation of privacy can be regarded as objectively reasonable in the society. The Court noted that internet users have subjective reasonable expectation of privacy over their communications transmitted online. However, it did not find the expectation as objectively reasonable because traffic data sent through internet “does not disclose the actual names and addresses (residential or office) of the sender and the recipient, only their coded Internet Protocol (IP) addresses .” Even though the Court ruled that real-time traffic data under Section 12 does not
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