Over 300 ghost FB accounts under probe: DOJ

An official of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday said they are now investigating more than 300 “ghost accounts” on social media platform Facebook.

“The contents of the accounts have already been preserved upon the request of our law enforcers. An inter-agency task force consisting of NPC (National Privacy Commission), DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology), and DOJ has been created to investigate the matter. We have received 198 reports involving over 300 accounts,” Justice Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete told reporters.

The DOJ earlier said persons behind the so-called “ghost accounts” of many Facebook users may be prosecuted for criminal liability for computer-related identity theft defined and punished under Sec. 4 (b)(3) of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, among other possible violations.

The DOJ Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC) initially received 112 reports from users with duplicate/dummy accounts.

Perete added that preserving data, as well as the determination of the subscriber information of those responsible, is essential to determine why these so-called ghost accounts existed in the first place.

He also assured that those who report violations have ample protection from the law since the Data Privacy Act “prohibits disclosure of information without consent or beyond the purpose for which data was obtained/provided”.

“Liability, including criminal penalties, is imposed upon those who violate this prohibition. The DOJ Office of Cybercrime is not only aware of this prohibition, it will assiduously uphold the law that protects the privacy of citizens,” he added. PNA.GOV.PH