What Data Privacy Act says about sharing screenshots of private conversations

October 26, 2022 - 6:33 PM
Photo shows content creator Zeinab Harake (Screengrab from Zeinab Harake/Facebook live; Brian Tromp/Unsplash; Artwork by James Patrick Cruz/Interaksyon)

Some social media users expressed alarm over the possibility of their private conversations getting publicized after content creator Wilbert Tolentino publicly shared his conversation with fellow content creator Zeinab Harake

Wilbert accused Zeinab of badmouthing celebrity vloggers. He also shared screenshots of their messages in a video posted by Wilbert.

Following the incident, Zeinab apologized to personalities tagged in the online controversy.

RELATED: Zeinab Harake apologizes to Alex Gonzaga, Ivana Alawi after Wilbert Tolentino explosive vlog

Meanwhile, a Facebook user expressed his worry by sharing a meme with a caption, “yung may nag-leak ng convo niyo sa gc tas ikaw pinakagrabe manglait,” referring to group chats.

In the comment section, people started tagging their friends asking them not to leak their conversation. 

“‘Wag tayong aabot sa ganito mga mare,” a Facebook user wrote in jest.

Others also joked about unsending the messages they sent to other people. 

Data Privacy Act 

Based on an advisory opinion of the National Privacy Commission, posting or sharing a screenshot of a private conversation involving personal information without the consent of the parties involved may be punishable under the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

“The disclosure of a private conversation involving personal data without the consent of the parties involved, or without some other lawful basis for the processing of personal data under the DPA, may be construed as unauthorized processing,” NPC advisory reads. 

Under the DPA, those who leak personal information without consent shall be imprisoned for one to three years and fined P500,000 to P1 million. 

If sensitive information is included in the shared conversation, violators shall be imprisoned for three to five years and fined P500,000 to P2 million. 

Victims may file a complaint before the NPC and file a case in court to demand damages.