Pol SMS ads require user consent

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MANILA, Philippines – Political ads are not allowed to be transmitted without the consent of subscribers to telecommunications services, said the head of the National Commission for the Protection of Privacy (NPC).

Speaking at Laging Handa’s public conference on Saturday, AFN Chairman Raymund Liboro also said that sending unsolicited text messages (short messaging system) and collecting cell phone numbers for these purposes violates also Law No. 10173 of the Republic or the Data Protection Law of 2012.

Liboro said telecom operators are only allowed to mass transmit emergency messages such as those sent by the National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.

He stressed the importance of the consent of subscribers to these messages.

“We should first ask you if you would like to receive [such a message]”said Liboro.

“Choice and opinion”

“To all the telecom operators involved, especially now that it is election time, you must remember your responsibility for the proper handling of citizens’ personal data, as you have obligations and responsibilities if you break the law on data protection, ”he added. .

Asked specifically about the text explosion last Wednesday that appeared to promote the presidential candidacy of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Liboro said

“This is an issue that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should look into and it is already doing it.”

Camp Marcos has denied having anything to do with this text explosion.

Liboro said that if ever a contract with a telephone company provides that the subscriber can receive advertisements by SMS, the subscriber should also have the option of informing the telephone company if he does not wish to receive such advertisements. .

Guidelines

“Your choice [not to receive SMS ads] must be obeyed. Other than that, you should have a choice and be warned – you should have the freedom to choose what types of messages you want to receive, ”he said.

“The most important thing here is that if you don’t want to receive a particular type of message, the [telco] should stop sending them and should not continue to send more such messages that you don’t want to receive, ”he added.

Following the text explosion of October 6, the NTC began to investigate the illegal use of typewriters or “systems” offered by online shopping services and easily searchable on the Internet.

The AFN, for its part, will issue data privacy guidelines for “parties and candidates” to observe in the next election campaign.

Liboro said telecommunications operators and other information society service providers (ISSPs), such as social media networks and search engines, are required to have data protection officers that subscribers can contact regarding data privacy issues.

According to him, the AFN recently removed a website that had investigated the 2022 elections.

He said the website did not respond to questions from the AFN, such as who organized the survey and who served as the data protection officer for the website.

Liboro urged internet users to report any election-related data privacy breach. INQ]

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