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Philippines and Singapore to co-lead the ASEAN Data Protection and Privacy Forum

The National Privacy Commission of the Philippines is closely working with Singapore’s Personal Data Protections Commission in developing the ASEAN Framework on Digital Data Governance, according to a recent press release.

Singapore’s invitation for the Philippines to co-lead the initiative was formally accepted recently by Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro during the 2nd Working Group Meeting on ASEAN Digital Data Governance Framework.

The Philippines accepts invitation

The Privacy Commissioner expressed his appreciation to Singapore for extending the invitation. The Philippines, through the National Privacy Commission, agrees to co-lead in this initiative.

Moreover, the country is honoured to take part in further developing and implementing a data privacy forum in the ASEAN region, which will bolster data privacy in the region.

He added that they are looking forward to further cooperation with Singapore and all ASEAN member states to foster a community where data protection and privacy thrives.

Endorsed last December by delegates of the ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers, the framework is aimed at strengthening the region’s data ecosystem.

This includes achieving legal and regulatory alignment of data regulations and governance frameworks in the region; as well as fostering data-driven innovation to boost growth of digital economy.

The Philippines would specifically co-lead one of the four initiatives called the ASEAN Data Protection and Privacy Forum.

Its two target outcomes are to harmonise legal and regulatory landscapes in the region; and the development and adoption of best practices.

Free-flowing data

As reported, the ASEAN is really pushing for the ASEAN group of data protection. The key features would be cross-data flows, coming up with an arrangement on how data can flow freely in the ASEAN region.

The Commissioner shared that any cross-border data flow framework must be accompanied by cross-border privacy enforcement arrangement. Both need to come hand in hand and must be dealt now, particularly with global issues.

The situation in the region

The challenge in creating the ASEAN privacy forum is that not all member-states have privacy regimes in place or laws. However, there is an accelerated effort among member-states to come up with laws.

The Philippines is one of only three Southeast Asian countries, together with Singapore and Malaysia, with comprehensive data protection law and fully-established functioning data privacy authority regulator.

A good synergy is being felt among the ASEAN member states as they are looking forward to having the best practices in coming up with a regional framework for cross-border data.

The Privacy Commissioner stressed that the ambition of the ASEAN is to get its act together and come up with a framework for data privacy that is globally recognised.

With Singapore, one of the staunchest promoters of data privacy in the region, and the leading light of the Philippines, this ambition may become possible.

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