Sat, Mar 23, 2019 - Page 4 News List

NCC seeks clarity on police accessing personal data during emergency aid

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Police Agency should define the conditions whereby law-enforcement officials can access personal communications data when offering emergency assistance, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said on Tuesday.

With the legislature’s Transportation Committee last week passing the draft telecommunications management act, some have raised questions about Article 9 of the draft, which would broaden the range of personal communications data that could be accessed by the government in the name of offering emergency aid, which they said would be an invasion of personal privacy.

NCC spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that legislators have reserved the article for further negotiations, as some lawmakers have argued that timing plays a critical role during emergency resuce operations, thus making the regulation necessary.

However, others think that the government should protect people’s right to privacy, Wong said.

“We support the version of the draft act approved by the Executive Yuan, which would require the National Police Agency to state under what conditions it can request access to personal communications data, particularly in terms of offering emergency assistance,” Wong said.

Nowadays, most people in Taiwan use data rather than voice communication, the commission said in a statement, adding that telecommunications records are preserved to ensure that people are accurately billed for use of data and value-added services.

The draft act defines telecom records as those generated by telecom service users, which include the telephone numbers of callers and recipients, call duration, IP addresses, voicemails and location of users, the commission said.

Article 19-1 of the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法) states that non-government agencies should not collect and process personal information unless there is a specific purpose, the commission said.

The same act also lists conditions that non-government agencies should comply with when gathering personal information, it said.

It also stipulates procedures that telecoms must follow to preserve users’ communication records, such as preserving their billing information up to a certain number of months, the commission said.

Furthermore, the draft act lists procedures and fees that users have to follow if they ask to check communication records and account information, it said.

Lawmakers are to negotiate if an additional clause allowing government access to personal communications records during emergency operations should be added to Article 9, the commission said, adding that they would deliberate the legal basis for such a clause, as well as the agency in charge of collecting such information and type of information that can be collected.

This story has been viewed 1550 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top