Jover Laurio and her former call centre employer may have violated Australian privacy laws

According to the latest Western media feature, “popular” Filipino blogger Jover Laurio worked for an Australian call centre before her rise to “fame” as blogger and “thought leader” of the Philippine Opposition. This is particularly relevant to me as Laurio had some time ago used information she had somehow obtained about my private residence and even telephone number to issue threats against me. Indeed, the information seems to have been shared with many of her followers and allies in social media as the information was presented to me as part of veiled threats many times over the years.

It is likely that the call centre Laurio works for serves Australian incumbent telecommunications company Telstra. I recall that some of the threats she and her cohorts addressed to me made reference to telephone bills. If this is the case, Telstra should investigate whether Australian privacy laws had been violated both by Laurio and her former employer in the course of obtaining and distributing my private information.

Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 6 of the Australian Privacy Act 1988 prohibits an entity from “using or disclosing personal information for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was collected, unless the individual consents, the individual would reasonably expect their personal information to be used for the secondary purpose, or another prescribed exception applies.” Furthermore, APP 8 stipulates…

If an APP entity is to disclose personal information to an overseas recipient, APP 8 requires it to take reasonable steps to ensure the recipient does not breach the APPs. This usually requires the APP entity to impose contractual obligations on the recipient.

Relevantly, if the overseas recipient does breach the APPs, the Privacy Act imposes liability on the APP entity that made the overseas disclosure.

Jover Laurio may be in possession of information about some people that could have been acquired through illegal means.

This means there is opportunity to investigate possible breaches of privacy from Australia as a business entity based in Australia that had transmitted private information of its Australian clients to an overseas subsidiary or contractor — such as, in this case, a call centre operator to which it outsourced some of its operations — could be held liable for said breach.

Much had already been written with regard to the hypocrisy surrounding the way the Philippine Opposition had propped up Laurio as a “hero” in a so-called fight against an imagined tyrannical Philippine government. The fact is, however, even though much had been written about Laurio herself, there is scant material to be found about the actual content that she publsihes on her much-vaunted Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB) itself — except for one noted blogger, Katrina Stuart Santiago, who actually took the time to mount a critical evaluation of Laurio’s work on PAB. In her piece, State of blogging, microblogging, media #crisis, Stuart-Santiago writes how “anyone who even spends time reading through Laurio’s site would find that she employs exactly the same tools, the same tone, the same kabastusan [crassness] that we find offensive in the DDS microblogs and fake news-propaganda sites.” She goes further to write about Laurio’s intellectual dishonesty on exhibit in her work published on PAB…

Laurio has entries that are but a series of questions dripping with malice and insinuations that are based on unnamed sources; she calls out Duterte officials and ends by saying versions of: “Sana hindi po ito totoo …” or “Kung mali ako …” Both these strategies are used by Duterte propagandists. These are no different from Asec Mocha using the world “allegedly” when she used to make her baseless accusations (she’s been very careful to keep from doing that of late), and ending her criticism of Liberal Party Senators, or mainstream media, with “Nagtatanong lang po!”

And on Laurio’s being the foremost celebrated Resibo Queen (a reference to the screencaps she uses as “proof” for her “fact checks” in her “fight” against “fake news”), Stuart Santiago is dismissive…

Laurio does not hyperlink to her sources — something that RJ Nieto (one of her favorite nemesis) actually takes seriously — and I’ve caught her often enough leaching off other Facebook pages’ content and passing the content off as her own. She then gets comments like “ang talas talaga ng mata mo Pab!” Yet the same information was posted on the Facebook page of We Are Collective days before she even put it on her blog.

It is quite rich that no less than the New York Times would toe the Philippine Liberal Party line by featuring her as a “hero” on their illustrious pages and website. Laurio, like her idol Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is a fake hero. Their prowess with playing the Victim Card no longer fools Filipinos. Unfortunately, they had succeeded at fooling the editors of the New York Times. For its part, the Times seems to have succumbed to the temptation presented by a juicy story without applying basic journalistic rigour, like taking into account alternative sources on the matter of Laurio’s new-found public profile. This latest piece is notable for an absence of the points of view of supporters of the incumbent Duterte government. Now that is being a hypocrite.

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10 Comments on “Jover Laurio and her former call centre employer may have violated Australian privacy laws”

  1. “Unfortunately, they had succeeded at fooling the editors of the New York Times.” They weren’t fooled, if Fake News Times can gush over Noynoy’s constant screw-ups, political witch hunts, “Benevolent Corruption” and smiling like an idiot while blaming Duterte for Marawi, the 14,000 EJKs with sources from Rappler, and is a “Fascist Dictator” with no examples to back it up, then no, they weren’t fooled, they are part of that NWO global propaganda network. Maria Ressa is old news, now they’re propping up miss bikini babe Jover there. Just like the same New York-based Human Rights Watch just declared “a human rights crisis” under Duterte for no reason or the continual “14k EJKs” garbage with no proper statistical fact is part of their propaganda machine.

  2. “Know yourself and your enemies, and you will win a hundred battles”, from “The Art of War” , by Sun Tzu. Concealment in war is also an art. Blogging against any political entity in our country is war, itself.

    How many times, they tried to block, hack and send viruses to my computer. They send internet trolls to viciously attack me. So, all bloggers, who use pen names, must Beware.

    Mr. BenignO, just change your residence, and use unlisted telephone number. Consult your lawyer or lawyers. And file a civil case in the Australian Court, against the company responsible and against Jover Laurio.

    This is a legal case. I am not a lawyers. So, I don’t know all the facts and consequences.

  3. Well, that follows the Filipino tendency to make criminals into heroes. If you’d psychoanalyze, Filipinos have his long-standing inner desire to get away with everything wrong. If they can take someone else’s spouse and escape the consequences, they would love that. Who knows if that is what Rappler supports. If a gay like a straight guy, but the guy of course refuses, Rappler might say the straight guy is a “dictator,” “violator of rights,” and “anti-gay,” with the intention of bringing down misery on the guy. If that’s how it is, they don’t respect people’s right to refuse others’ wants, and they support the spoiled greedy brats instead of a true functioning democracy that respects individual rights.

    1. In fact, that whole episode digging up other people’s personal circumstances is the extreme form of the ad hominem style of argument/debate Filipinos are renowned for. The point is not addressed and, instead, sidestepped in favour of a more “witty” (by Filipino standards) quip.

      This is the reason democratic politics does not move forward in the Philippines. Democratic politics relies on a healthy thesis-versus-antithesis-then-resolution process to systematically progress ideas and initiatives. It seems to be incompatible with the way the Pinoy mind works.

      1. It’s all about that Filipino habit of finding out the dirt of others, ruining those others and claiming moral high ground that you’re better. Part of that desperate struggle to find validation as I just put out.

  4. I do not know how anyone giving endorsement and honors to Jover Laurio and her blog could escape being himself discredited and shamed by the act. I mean, c’mon, 1) she is Inquirer’s 2017 Filipino of the Year! 2) earlier, she merited instant interview by BBC! 3) she gets regularly featured in international news sites like that one by New York Times! Yet, should a new visitor go to her blogsite perhaps curious of all the acclamation and attention she is getting, he would surely be stumped and dismayed to find out what’s in there. If her blog is representative of the intellectual depth of the Opposition, they should be very embarrassed.

    1. It’s actually quite baffling, this lack of interest in critiquing the actual content, the soundness of arguments, or even just the overall substance in the work published by Laurio on her blog. Even more remarkable is the amount of material across many publications written about her and the circumstances that surround her without even once mentioning the nature of the content she publishes. Bizarre!

    2. They just rap people they know in international press, and tell them, “hey, please run an article, say this, we’ll tell you what to say,” and that’s that. Even personnel of those “internationally great” news organizations are as lazy and sloven as those they’ve been rapped to “defend.”

  5. Jover being featured in NYT as a hero just shows the existence of a PR company pushing anti-Duterte stories for the international audience to swallow. Shame on NYT for either not doing basic journalism or for seemingly being on the take.

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