When is a ‘selfie’ A ‘selfie’?

Let us all not get carried away by what we read in the newspapers and what is being propagated in social media. Let us not be quick to jump on the bandwagon. Take pause. Scrutinize the issue.

News articles label House Bill 4807 as “Anti-Selfie” Bill. This is a misnomer. Inaccurate.

The proposed bill in its current form DOES NOT PROHIBIT SELFIEs per se. What it declares illegal is the act of taking photos–among others–of OTHER people for commercial purposes. If you are taking photos of people OTHER than yourself, that is not a selfie, is it?

House Bill 4807, also known as The Protection Against Personal Intrusion Act, which seeks to “promote and protect the personal privacy of every person by preventing intrusion for commercial purposes, and enjoining everyone to respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of every person.” In a nutshell, as summarized by a House press release, “under the measure, it is unlawful to capture, or to trespass on private property in order to capture, any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of any individual, personal or family activity for commercial purposes and even if no physical trespass has occurred. The measure also allows the person whose visual image or auditory impression has been captured to file a civil action or proceeding to obtain any appropriate relief including compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive of declaratory relief.”

No text of HB 4807 has been uploaded yet, so it is very difficult to truly gauge its impact. But I must admit, that in its current form, the proposed legislation can encroach on the rights of emerging sectors such as blogging and online social media, especially citizen journalism. Would-be criminals caught on tapes (or films) can use this bill to declare photographic/videographic evidences as illegally acquired if taken in private premises.

I know this is a complex issue…. but there is one thing I’m sure: whether or not this bill becomes a law, no one’s going to arrest you for taking a photo of yourself while shopping inside a mall or drinking yourself silly inside a bar.

So, here’s an appeal to the media and those opposing this bill, please stop calling it “anti-selfie” bill. It is NOT!

Tuloy ang ligaya!

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Photo by: Ronie Santiago Photography, Cabacungan Cove, Tambobong, Dasol, Pangasinan
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About Seeing with Brahmin eyes
My sense of humor can be keen, sarcastic, silly or corny -- sometimes all at once. I enjoy meeting new people with no preconceived ideas about what or what is not possible. You get much more out of life by being open minded and willing. I'm an easy going, good-natured person who loves life and loves people. I'm both optimistic and realistic and pretty objective when it comes to assessing situations, events, etc. In general I am a very positive person and you'll usually find we with a smile on my face.

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