Bill filed to protect accident, crime victims from unwanted media exposure

A BILL has been filed in Congress to nip the unauthorized publication of images or videos of victims of crimes and accidents which, according to a lawmaker, strips these individuals of their dignity and rights against unwanted media exposure.

“The proliferation of digital media and the ease with which content can be shared on social media platforms has led to a significant rise in privacy concerns,” Camigiun Rep. Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo said in a statement on Tuesday.

Images and videos of accident and crime victims are often published on social media without consent from their immediate family, violating their privacy and dignity, according to the congressman.

House Bill No. 10277 also reinforces the Data Privacy Law by “addressing a specific category of privacy breaches.”

“Through this bill, a clear legal protection against the unauthorized dissemination of images and videos of individuals who are victims of crimes, accidents, or of persons who have committed suicide,” it said.

Those violating the proposed law would be penalized with an imprisonment sentence of three to seven years. It also carries a penalty fine of P100,000 to P500,000, both at the discretion of the court.

An additional administrative case would be penalized for public officers violating the proposed law.

The proposed law clarified that “franchised and authorized television and radio networks” and “duly licensed print media” are allowed to disseminate the details, images, and videos of the victim as long as they consider existing ethical standards of the profession in their reports.

Social media content creators, however, need to secure consent from the victim before they publish their images and videos on their platforms. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio