Credit: National Privacy Commission of the Philippines

Credit: National Privacy Commission of the Philippines

National Privacy Commission highlights importance of safeguarding Filipino data privacy in Privacy Awareness Week

The Philippine National Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro encouraged businesses, government and civil organisations to participate in the upcoming Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) happening on 28 to 31 May 2018. 

The Commissioner’s message came in the wake of recent privacy issues that plagued the food service industry in the Philippines. The data breach led to the exposure of around 82,150 records, including users’ personal data. As a result, the National Privacy Commission has ordered the company to inform users that their personal data might have been compromised.

Data privacy protection in the Philippines is governed by the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which ensures that the Philippines complies with international standards set for data protection through the National Privacy Commission (NPC). NPC is tasked to protect the individual personal information and upholds the right to privacy by regulating the processing of personal information. Under this law, appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is a legal requirement for Personal Information Controllers (PICs) and Personal Information Processors (PIPs). Having a DPO is a must since they serve as the focal person protecting personal data collection and processing.   

PAW commemorates the data privacy rights of people along with all the benefits of data privacy protection. Participating in PAW is beneficial for organisations that process personal data since this can boost better customer trust, greater competitive advantage and stronger protection of company assets.

“There’s no better time than today to combat the growing threats to the safety of our personal data. And there’s no better way to do this than as a community, which is what the PAW activities hope to foster,” Commissioner Liboro emphasised.

This year’s theme, “Protecting the Filipino’s Right to Data Privacy” will kick-off with the 2-day summit for DPOs from various sectors all over the country. Around 2,000 DPOs, from the academe, civil society, top corporations and the government, are expected to join the event happening at the Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC) on 28 - 29 May 2018.  

The year-long social awareness campaign called “Privacy, Safety, Security and Trust (PSST!) Online”, will also be launched by the NPC during the conference. This aims to equip the Filipinos with adequate information and tools that they can use in protecting themselves as well as their loved ones from irresponsible treatment of their personal data when using online applications, mobile services and desktop services.

PAW is an annual international effort to draw public attention towards privacy issues and the importance of protecting personal information. This is the second time that the Philippines will officially celebrate PAW in solidarity with Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) members all over the world.

APPA is a forum for privacy authorities in the Asia Pacific Region, wherein they are given an opportunity to form partnerships, discuss best practices and to share information on emerging technology, trends and changes to privacy regulation. APPA members are comprised of Australia, British Columbia, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Macao, Mexico, New South Wales, New Zealand, Northern Territory, Peru, Queensland, Singapore, Federal Communications Commission – United States, Federal Trade Commission – United States, and Victoria.

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