As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of Filipinos lost their families’ main sources of income. So, it didn’t come as a surprise to a lot of Pinoys when friends would message them on Facebook to ask for financial help. Those who could afford it would digitally transfer the funds with almost no hesitation — only to find out later on that their friends’ Facebook accounts were either hacked or duplicated.
This is just one of many types of online scams that have taken place during the pandemic. According to NBI-Cybercrime Division Chief Victor Lorenzo, while traditional crimes in the Philippines lessened during the pandemic, cybercrimes actually doubled. In an interview with ONE News, Lorenzo expressed that the NBI is actually “seeking the passage of a law that would mandate one social media account per person in the Philippines.”
NBI seeks “one person, one social media account” law
“Malaking tulong sa law enforcement perspective ‘yung one person, one social media account,” Lorenzo told ONE News. As per the NBI official, it is the hope that such a law would aid in the prevention of cybercrimes; in particular, identity theft and other businesses-related online crimes have been widespread, given that most transactions now take place virtually.
In relation to this, Sen. Tito Sotto also proposed a “one person, one Facebook account” policy in June 2021. The idea was put forward as a means to control the proliferation of troll farms, especially given the approaching 2022 elections.
How else does the NBI aim to address cybercrimes?
The NBI continues to push for the mandatory registration of prepaid SIM cards — a bill that has actually existed since 2015 but has yet to be passed into law. Similarly, Lorenzo also stated that once completed, the national ID system will also be a big help to authorities looking into cybercrime cases.
As data privacy has long been a hot topic for debate, reactions about the matter have been mixed. What are your thoughts on the possibility of a “one person, one social media account” law?
Featured image credit: Luca Sammarco via Canva Pro