Com­pa­nies or­dered to des­ig­nate Data Pro­tec­tion Of­fi­cers

Manila Bulletin - - Business News - By EMMIE V. ABADILLA

Chief ex­ec­u­tives of pub­lic and pri­vate or­ga­ni­za­tions who process per­sonal in­for­ma­tion must des­ig­nate their own Data Pro­tec­tion Of­fi­cers (DPOs), the Na­tional Pri­vacy Com­mis­sion (NPC) urged.

Specif­i­cally, those who have not yet com­plied with the Data Pri­vacy Act of 2012 should im­me­di­ately ap­point a DPO to sig­nify their "com­mit­ment to com­ply" with the law, stressed NPC Chair­man and Pri­vacy Com­mis­sioner Ray­mund En­riquez Li­boro.

"Per­sonal data han­dling is a pub­lic trust and car­ries with it a bur­den of ac­count­abil­ity. No amount of ig­no­rance or le­gal naiveté can erase that ac­count­abil­ity," he re­it­er­ated.

"If you process a lot of per­sonal data, you could be a dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen, if you fail to ap­ply the prin­ci­ples pro­vided in the law."

The DPO sees to it that the or­ga­ni­za­tion abides by data pri­vacy prin­ci­ples, im­ple­ments phys­i­cal and tech­ni­cal se­cu­rity mea­sures as well as up­holds the rights of data sub­jects - pro­tect­ing their data from col­lec­tion and stor­age to shar­ing and de­struc­tion.

Pro­vid­ing the sub­jects ac­cess to their per­sonal data and giv­ing in­struc­tions on how they can ob­ject to pro­cess­ing and ob­tain re­lief when needed is part of the DPO’s job.

“For Mi­cro Small and Medium En­ter­prises (MSMEs) that process per­sonal data, the DPO can even be the busi­ness owner,” ac­cord­ing to Li­boro. “What is im­por­tant is de­vel­op­ing a cul­ture of pri­vacy within their or­ga­ni­za­tion and en­sur­ing their em­ploy­ees are aware of data pri­vacy prin­ci­ples.”

So far, the NPC cited state agen­cies com­pli­ant with the Data Pri­vacy Act with des­ig­nated DPOs, among them, the De­part­ment of Health (DOH), Philhealth, the De­part­ment of Na­tional De­fense, the Na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (NEDA) and the Metro Manila De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (MMDA).

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