UP seeks NPC help over fake Facebook accounts

Published June 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz 

The Office of the Student Regent (OSR) of the University of the Philippines (UP) on Sunday (June 7) sought the help of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) regarding the reported duplication of accounts of some UP students and alumni over the weekend.

The OSR said it has already contacted the UP System Data Protection Office regarding the matter, but noted that no unusual activity or breach has been detected in the databases of the university.

“However, the question of how massive amounts of private information were leaked, even outside UP, remains unanswered. We are also yet to receive a final update regarding the leak of SET credentials of UP Cebu students,” the OSR added.

The University of the Philippines (UP) on Sunday urged its students and alumni to check if their names have been used to make fake or dummy Facebook accounts, as the UP System said it has received reports that fake or dummy Facebook accounts have been created.

Those whose names have been used to create fake profiles should make a proper report to the Data Protection Officer (DPO) of Facebook, UP System urged.

“Rest assured that the UP System Data Protection Officer has reached out to the Philippine National Police Privacy Commission to help students and alumni report fake or dummy accounts in their name to the DPO of Facebook,” it added.

The OSR shared several reports of alleged fake accounts bearing the names of UP students.

It noted that the “empty, duplicate, and fake accounts” are suspected to cause harm or spread false information, following the Anti-Terrorism bill protests held in UP campuses.

“As much as we want to shut down true duplicate accounts, please do exercise restraint against reporting possible real-life accounts of people having the same name as ours,” the OSR pointed out.

“We are also encouraging students not to panic and instead seek help if you find suspicious accounts. It is best if we stay informed and vigilant,” it said.

“We are hoping that this is a glitch in the system only and can be resolved immediately. However, let it be clear that we will not tolerate any misleading content posted on any account that will endanger our students,” it added.

Call to veto Anti-Terrorism bill

Meanwhile, the UP College of Law on Sunday urged President Duterte to veto the Anti-Terrorism bill as it is already “causing trepidation in academia.”

The UP Law Center’s Institute of Human Rights aired its strong opposition to the bill in a statement issued on June 4.

The All UP Academic Employees Union on June 2 also issued a statement denouncing the bill passed by both houses of Congress.

UP’s College of Law also cited Constitutional Law professor and human rights advocate Antonio La Viña’s views regarding the controversial bill.

In an earlier television interview, La Viña said, “My greatest concern is that (the act) could be used against non-terrorists.”

For one, there is no clear-cut definition of the provision on “inciting to terrorism,” which he explained, is loosely defined–it does not distinguish legitimate dissent from terrorism.

The College of Law noted that if enacted into law, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 will repeal the Human Security Act of 2007.

READ MORE: Several empty, duplicate accounts resurface on Facebook