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National Privacy Commission calls for a united front to protect the digital Filipino

More than 2,000 Data Protection Officers (DPO), coming from major government offices and leading businesses, have joined the call of the National Privacy Commission for a united front that will strengthen the protection of the people’s personal data.

According to a recent press release, executives from various government agencies have symbolically pledged their support for the Commission’s covenant of unity for the protection of the digital Filipino.

These agencies include the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Unity is the key

Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro, in his opening remarks during the second annual National Data Privacy Conference, said, “Our common goal of ensuring data privacy in today’s radically changing technology landscape can only be won as a community, where the government and businesses align resources to safeguard the data subject’s interests.”

With the theme, “Datos ng Pilipino, Protektado ko!” (Protecting the Digital Filipino: Accountability, Compliance & Ethics in a Data-Driven Philippines), the conference appealed to institutions and individuals, who process personal information.

They should fully embrace their accountability, aim for maximised compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012, and observe high ethical standards.

Aside from the aforementioned government agencies that pledged their support, an advocacy group assisting consumers on protection against deceptive, unfair, and unconscionable acts and practices also joined in.

What the covenant entails

The covenant is calling for a unified front towards safeguarding the modern Filipino’s right to prosper by protecting their personal data and promoting their basic rights.

At the same time, the public should be equipped with the knowledge that would enable them to defend themselves against fraudsters and other data privacy violators.

Altogether, these are envisioned to culminate in a peaceful, secure, and technologically-aware Philippines.

Why is it important?

Upholding the right to data privacy is everybody’s business because ultimately, all potential harm to the data subject also puts the commercial and societal interests at risk.

Unlawful data activities can hurt the customers or constituents and they can certainly hurt the business, industry, profession or institution.

In order to thrive in a data-driven global economy, data privacy should be aced. There is no better way to face this challenge than by facing it together as co-stakeholders, watching each other’s back in a community of trust.

Annual Privacy Awareness Week

This year’s Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) will be observed on 25 to 31 May.

The Privacy Commissioner reminded the participants of the need to conduct their own PAW activities in their offices, carrying this year’s official tagline in their corporate communication and activities.

Attending the Commission’s event for DPOs is not the be-all and end-all of PAW celebrations. It merely serves as a curtain-raiser.

OpenGov Asia recently reported on Accountability is key in protecting the digital Filipino.

PAW is annually observed every last week of May in recognition of the need to inform and educate the public about data privacy, data protection and fair information rights and responsibilities.

This is part of reinforcing the efforts of the Commission in protecting personal data and ensuring the country’s compliance with international standards set for data protection.

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