The Duterte administration is committed in implementing the Data Privacy Act to ensure the security and privacy of personal information of Filipinos as the law aims to ensure that the data privacy rights of the citizens are protected, a Malacañang official said Tuesday.
“The Duterte administration has committed to the enforcement of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 which aims to protect the fundamental human right to privacy of personal data. We will assist in ensuring that the right to privacy is respected and protected,” said Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go in his speech during the first National Data Privacy Conference at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Go, who was the event’s guest of honor, urged the public to guard against cybercriminals who hack personal information for unlawful purposes.
“We cannot risk being complacent about data privacy because there are cybercriminals who will violate privacy laws to profit from our stolen mobile number information, email addresses and credit card numbers, among others,” he said.
“The scarier part is these criminals are transnational in nature and cannot be hampered by national borders that makes them difficult to track and apprehend,” he added.
Go said data privacy has started to gain attention following the news of the data breach of Facebook which gained local and international headlines.
“Data privacy has become a buzzword that has attracted more attention than ever especially after social media website Facebook came under fire with its recent data privacy crisis which might have compromised the personal data of its more than 2.2 billion users,” he said.
To ensure data security and create public awareness on data privacy rights, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has launched a year-long advocacy campaign called the Privacy, Safety, Security and Trust (PSST!) Online.
The campaign seeks to equip Filipinos with information and self-help tools that they can use to protect themselves from the risk of data breaches when using online applications and services on their mobile and desktop devices.
The Privacy Commission also seeks to train data protection officers (DPOs) that will monitor the compliance of various organizations that are handling and processing personal information with data privacy laws.
A Data Privacy Council was launched which will consist of multi-sectoral representatives tasked to collaborate with the NPC towards the creation of privacy codes that are calibrated to the unique needs and conditions of each sector.
Privacy compliance sweeps or random checking of websites of companies will be conducted to determine if these are secured from any data breaches. Its results will be used as basis for further probes and full-scale compliance checks.
The NPC has organized the two-day data privacy conference from May 28 to May 29 which gathered more than 2,000 DPOs, data protection experts and privacy advocates nationwide. The delegates represented various government agencies, major sectors of the economy, mass media and civil society.
The event was part of the celebration of the Privacy Awareness Week which is an annual international event that seeks to draw public attention towards privacy issues and the importance of protecting personal information. (PNA)