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NPC: Telcos, ISPs Must Uphold Data Protection, Privacy in PH

NPC: Telcos, ISPs Must Uphold Data Protection, Privacy in PH

Most of the data that traverse through the networks of telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers (ISP) are personal information which should be protected under the Data Privacy Act (DPA) of 2012.

National Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro, in his message at the first general assembly of Data Protection Officers (DPO) in the telco and value added service (VAS) provider industry sector late Tuesday, thus stressed the need for telcos and ISPs to ensure data protection and privacy.

“Personal data is not limited to email and voice communications, most users are not aware that before a conversation can happen over telecommunications networks, they have to provide their personal data; starting with their phone numbers, then the IMSI number of their SIM cards, the IMEI number and the MAC address of their device; networks also geo-tag users’ location based on which cell site or street cabinet they used. That is just a voice conversation, subscriber activity within telco and ISP networks generate volumes of personal data as well,” Liboro said.

“After government, telcos are the largest processors of personal data and as such, we need to be the vanguards of data protection and privacy, it should not be treated as a burdensome compliance task but instead should be inherent in our operations and adds value to our organizations, ensuring competitiveness in a dynamic industry,” Roy Ibay, Vice President of Philippine Chamber of Telecommunication Operators (PCTO), said.

The event entitled DPO3 is the third of a series of industry sector targeted DPO general assemblies. The first two were for government and the banking and financial services sector.

DPO3 was organized by the NPC in cooperation with the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunication Operators (PCTO).

Meanwhile, the NPC also announced that the registration of personal information controllers (PICs) and DPOs will be held on September 9, 2017 while the online registration of data processing systems (DPS) will start on January 2018 until March 2018.

The NPC is a regulatory and quasi-judicial body constituted in March 2012 by virtue of RA 10173 known as the Data Privacy Act.

As the Philippines’ data privacy and data protection watchdog, it is mandated to uphold the right to data privacy and ensure the free flow of information with a view to promoting economic growth and innovation. (Aerol B. Patena/PNA)