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People subjected to profiling can file data privacy complaints —Guevarra

Profiling persons without consent could be a violation of the data privacy law, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday.

“Possibly the data privacy law, depending on the kind of personal data obtained without the consent of the person concerned, and the purpose for which the data was obtained,” Guevarra said when asked if profiling violated any law.

He said a person can file a complaint before government offices.

“If it’s a criminal complaint, file it before the prosecutor’s office. If it’s a civil complaint for injunction and damages, file it directly before the court. If it is an administrative complaint, go to the Philippine National Police/Department of the Interior and Local Government or Armed Forces of the Philippines, as the case may be,” Guevarra said.

Unauthorized processing of personal information and sensitive personal information is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P2 million under the Data Privacy Law (Republic Act 10173).

Guevarra issued the statement following reports of police officers allegedly red-tagging and profiling some community pantry organizers.

The Cabinet official earlier told authorities to leave community pantry organizers and volunteers alone.

“It is not proper for law enforcement agents to interrogate him unless there is reason to believe that he is violating any law, ordinance, rule or regulation for the good or welfare of the community,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Philippine National Police on Tuesday denied that there was a directive to profile organizers but the government’s anti-insurgency task force had admitted that background checks were conducted. -MDM, GMA News