PH privacy body to meet with Facebook on surge of 'impostor' accounts

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2020 01:40 PM

MANILA - The National Privacy Commission (NPC) and Facebook are set to meet Tuesday, June 16, as they investigate the surge of "impostor" accounts over the week amid protests against the Anti-Terrorism Bill, the privacy body's head said Saturday. 

In a statement, Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro said the commission wanted to "seek more information" regarding the increase in the number of accounts that appear to be duplicates of existing accounts but without profile photos. 

This has stoked concerns among Facebook users, many of whom believe they were being targeted by those seeking to quell opposition to the controversial anti-terror measure. 

Some even reported receiving direct messages from the duplicate accounts under their names. 

"The National Privacy Commission is focused on probing the cause of the 'privacy panic' triggered by these impostor accounts and instituting remedial measures to protect Filipino Facebook users," he said, guaranteeing to “inform the public on the matter.” 

Liboro said it has also been coordinating with other government agencies while conducting its own investigation. 

The NPC, he said, is probing a "privacy panic" which arose from the spurting of such impostor accounts. 

Suspected fake accounts of university students and alumni were reported earlier in the month, as they staged protests to voice dissent over the controversial Anti-Terror Bill, which critics say could lead to human rights abuses. 

Some journalists and private individuals also reported dummy accounts.

The NPC previously encouraged users to report the fake accounts to Facebook for immediate action, while the social media platform has done a separate probe as such accounts sprung online. 

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