Data Privacy Act signed into law
President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which aims to ensure the security and integrity of personal data towards attracting investors to the country's Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industries.
Aquino signed the Data Privacy Act, or Republic Act 10173, on August 15, which requires the preservation of personal data collected by public and private entities.
“The State recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology in nation-building and its inherent obligation to ensure that personal information in information and communications systems in the government and in the private sector are secured and protected,” the law declares.
The law also establishes the creation of a National Privacy Commission, which shall “monitor and ensure compliance of the country with international standards set for data protection.”
Among other provisions, it is mandated to publish a guide to all data protection-related laws on a regular basis.
It can also “compel or petition any entity, government agency or instrumentality to abide by its orders or take action on a matter affecting data privacy.”
In March, Senate science committee chairman Edgardo Angara —who sponsored the then-Senate bill 2965 on data privacy— said the law on data privacy can help boost the Philippines’ IT-BPO industry.
The industry can achieve projections of revenue increase from $9 billion in 2011 to $25 billion by 2016, Angara said then, and that employment could increase from about one million to four million in the next four years.
The law also has a provision on protection for journalists and their sources, stating that nothing in the act repeals or amends the law that does not compel those in the journalism profession to reveal the sources of leaked news reports. — TJD, GMA News