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Privacy today faces growing threats from a growing surveillance apparatus that is often justified

in the name of national security. Numerous government agenciesincluding the National

Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security,
and state and local law enforcement agenciesintrude upon the private communications of
innocent citizens, amass vast databases of who we call and when, and catalog suspicious
activities based on the vaguest standards.

The governments collection of this sensitive information is itself an invasion of privacy. But its
use of this data is also rife with abuse. Innocuous data is fed into bloated watchlists, with severe
consequencesinnocent individuals have found themselves unable to board planes, barred
from certain types of jobs, shut out of their bank accounts, and repeatedly questioned by
authorities. Once information is in the governments hands, it can be shared widely and retained
for years, and the rules about access and use can be changed entirely in secret without the
public ever knowing.

Our Constitution and democratic system demand that the government be transparent and
accountable to the people, not the other way around. History has shown that powerful, secret
surveillance tools will almost certainly be abused for political ends and turned disproportionately
on disfavored minorities.

The ACLU has been at the forefront of the struggle to prevent the entrenchment of a
surveillance state by challenging the secrecy of the governments surveillance and watchlisting
practices; its violations of our rights to privacy, free speech, due process, and association; and
its stigmatization of minority communities and activists disproportionately targeted by

OPLE VS. TORRES, July 23, 1998

Puno, J.


On December 12, 1996, then President FIDEL V. RAMOS issued Administrative Order

The AO seeks to have all Filipino citizens and foreign residents to have a Population Reference
Number (PRN) generated by the National Statistics Office (NSO) through the use of

The AO was questioned by Senator Ople one of the grounds was:

1. The AO violates the citizens right to privacy protected by the Bill of Rights of the


1. The AO establishes a system of identification that is all-encompassing in scope, affects

the life and liberty of every Filipino citizens and foreign residents

2. The AO likewise violates the right to privacy since its main purpose is to provide a
common reference number to establish a linkage among concerned agencies through the use
of BIOMETRICS TECHNOLOGY. Biometry is the science of the application of statistical
methods to biological facts; a mathematical analysis of a biological data. It is the confirmation of
an individuals identity through a fingerprint, retinal scan, hand geometry or facial features.
Through the PRN, the government offices has the chance of building a huge and formidable
information base through the electronic linkage of the files of every citizen. The data, however,
may be gathered for gainful and useful government purposes; but the existence of this vast
reservoir of personal information constitutes a covert invitation to misuse, a temptation that may
be too great for some of our authorities to resist.

Further, the AO does not even tells us in clear and unequivocal terms how these information
gathered shall be handled. It does not provide who shall control and access the data and under
what circumstances and for what purpose. These factors are essential to safeguard the privacy
and guaranty the integrity of the information. The computer linkage gives other government
agencies access to the information. YET, THERE ARE NO CONTROLS TO GUARD AGAINST

AO No. 308 is unconstitutional since it falls short of assuring that personal information gathered
about our people will be used only for specified purposes thereby violating the citizens right to

Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. The Civil Code provides that "[e]very
person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and
other persons" and punishes as actionable torts several acts for meddling and prying into the
privacy of another. It also holds a public officer or employee or any private individual liable for
damages for any violation of the rights and liberties of another person, and recognizes the
privacy of letters and other private communications. The Revised Penal Code makes a crime of
the violation of secrets by an officer, the revelation of trade and industrial secrets, and trespass
to dwelling. Invasion of privacy is an offense in special laws like the Anti-Wiretapping
Law, the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act, and the Intellectual Property Code. ||| (Marquez v.
Desierto, G.R. No. 135882, [June 27, 2001], 412 PHIL 387-399)
Article 12 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour
and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or
Article 17 (1) and (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home
or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

The right to privacy is the right to be let
The right to privacy is enshrined in our Constitution 44 and in our laws.
It is defined as "the right to be free from unwarranted exploitation of
one's person or from intrusion into one's private activities in such a
way as to cause humiliation to a person's ordinary sensibilities." 45 It is
the right of an individual "to be free from unwarranted publicity, or to
live without unwarranted interference by the public in matters in which
the public is not necessarily concerned." 46 Simply put, the right to
privacy is "the right to be let alone." 47
||| (Spouses Hing v. Choachuy, Sr., G.R. No. 179736, [June 26, 2013])

Choachuy constructed an auto-repair shop building (Aldo Goodyear Servitec) adjacent to the
property owned by the Spouses Hing.

Aldo filed a case against petitioners for Injuction and Damages, Aldo claimed that petitioners were
constructing a fence without a permit and that the said construction would destroy the wall of its
building which is adjacent to petitioners property

Court denied application because they failed to substantiate the allegations

In order to get evidence, respondents illegally set-up and installed on the building of Aldo a video
surveillance camera facing petitioners property

Aldo also took photos of the on-going construction through their employees. The Spouses Hing
claimed that the acts of respondent violated the petitioners right to privacy founded on Article 26
(1), which enjoins persons from prying into the private lives of others
In its defense, Aldo claims that the property owned by the Hings is used for business purposes,
thus excluded from the coverage of the protection.

The Hings filed an application for a TRO against Aldo to remove the revolving surveillance
camera, which was granted by the RTC but revoked by the CA.

W/N there is a violation of the petitioners right to privacy


A business office is entitled to the same privacy when the public is excluded therefrom and
only such individuals as are allowed to enter may come in

Thus, an individuals right to privacy udner Article 26(1) of the Civil Code would not be
confined to his house or residence as it may extend to places where he has the right to
exclude the public or deny them access.

Reasonable expectation of privacy test is used to determine whether there is a violation of

the right to privacy.

1. by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an expectation of privacy

2. the expectation is on that society recognizes as reasonable

In this day, video surveillance cameras are installed everywhere for the protection and
safety of everyone. But this should not cover places where there is reasonable expectation
of privacy, unless the consent of the individual, whose right to privacy will be affected, was
obtained. Similar to crime under wire tapping law.