Bill protecting public privacy and security submitted to parliament

09 September 2016
Bill protecting public privacy and security submitted to parliament
Photo: Min Min/Mizzima

The House of Representatives Bill Committee submitted a privacy and security bill at the parliamentary session held on September 8.
The bill ‘Protecting the individual privacy and security of citizens’ has the objectives of guaranteeing individual privacy and security, protection by the state of houses, premises, property, correspondences and other communications in accordance with the law, and to provide rule of law and protection for the lives of citizens.
House of Representatives Bill Committee Chairman Tun Tun Hein said, “Security of our lives is important for us. We have to worry about who will come and knock on our doors when night falls. We need to pass this bill to provide protection for the individual privacy and security of all citizens.”
The provisions in the bill prohibit entering, searching, seizing and arresting any citizen on their premises without permission duly given by a competent authority in accordance with the law.
Similarly, the provisions in the law prohibit following, investigating, and watching any citizen without proper lawful permission and also prohibits electronic eavesdropping and tapping by electronic means.
The provision in the bill stipulates that whosoever conducts following, watching, investigating, entering premises, searching and seizing materials found on the premises or arresting a citizen found on the premises which undermines human dignity without proper and lawful permission shall be dealt with through legal action and these offences will carry a maximum prison term of 5 years.
‘Equality Myanmar’ Director Aung Myo Min said, “I assume this bill has objectives of giving protection to privacy of an individual so that it is in line with human rights norms.”
But added that the bill was not enough to give actual protection to the freedom and privacy of an individual.
“The bill seems to give permission to infringe on anyone’s privacy and freedom by authorised persons at their will. It should not be like that. The bill should add more provisions in giving protection to an individual’s privacy even in the case of authorised infringement of such privacy,” He told Mizzima.