Image Credit: University of the Philippines Visayas

Image Credit: University of the Philippines Visayas

University of the Philippines Visayas orients employees on the Data Privacy Act of 2012

An orientation concerning RA 10173, the Data Privacy Act of 2012, was conducted by the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas for its employees.

Mr Wilfredo Palete Jr., the University’s designated Data Protection Officer, presided over the talk, which happened in Miagao, Iloilo campus.

According to the report made by the University, the reason behind the creation of the Data Privacy Act (DPA) is it being a response to the ever-growing use of the internet in the Philippines for business, particularly through the digital economy and international trade relations.

Add to that how Filipinos have increased their internet usage for personal use because of their heavy penchant for social media. With more and more people gaining access, the need for privacy and security protections have strengthened.

According to Republic Act No. 10173, Ch. 1, Sec. 2, the purpose of the DPA is “to protect the fundamental human right of privacy, of communication while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth.

In order to enforce and oversee the DPA, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) was established. NPC is tasked to protect the individual personal information and upholds the right to privacy by regulating the processing of personal information.

Based on the defined purpose of DPA, personal information should be safeguarded not only by the person directly concerned, but also by the company or institution to which they are connected.

As defined by the National Privacy Commission Tool Kit, personal information is referred to as “any information, whether recorded in a material form or not, from which the identity of an individual is apparent or can be reasonable and directly ascertained by the entity holding the information, or when put together with other information would directly and certainly identify and individual.”

Image Credit: University of the Philippines Visayas

The report further explained what constitutes as personal information. It includes sensitive personal information that covers an in individual’s race, ethnic origin, marital status, age, colour, and religious, philosophical or political affiliations.

Moreover, an individual’s health, education, genetic or sexual life, and any proceeding for any offense committed or alleged to have been committed by such person, the disposal of such proceedings, or the sentence of any court in such proceedings are also included to their personal information.

Before personal information may be disclosed, in cases when it is needed for a legitimate purpose, the consent of the person connected should be given. It should also be remembered that the information be used for the purpose it was intended.

Moreover, under the DPA, 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.  

An announcement released earlier highlighted the Privacy Awareness Week (PAW), which commemorates the data privacy rights of the Filipino 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.

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