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Privacy commission urges tour firms to take care of customers’ data

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has called on businesses in the tourism industry to safeguard their customers' personal information against data theft and other related crimes.

NPC Chairman Raymund Liboro made the remark during the 20th Data Protection Officers Assembly (DPO20), adding that there was a need to mitigate risks of data breach as this industry became increasingly dependent on advances in technology.

“Travel and tourism services in the country are seeing a steady, vibrant growth in demand, owing to the strong business climate and increasing domestic spending. Thus, there is a need for industry players to safeguard their customers’ trust by ensuring that personal information remains secure against data theft,” Liboro said.

Data privacy compliance is a must for all organizations that collect and process personal data and will ensure Philippine tourism’s stable growth, continued contribution to national economic progress and increasing global competitiveness. 

“The assumption of your responsibility in protecting tourists’ data – from acquisition, storage, and transfer – not only allows them to enjoy that sense of peace of mind while on travel and leisure, but also strengthens your brand as a company that puts its customer’s welfare above all else,” Liboro pointed out.

Bases on government records, the Philippines ranks eighth among states that have seen the largest growth in travel and tourism's contribution to Gross Domestic Product from 2011 to 2017 with US $66.3 billion share in 2017 alone.

About a hundred Data Protection Officers and allied professionals joined the DPO20 held at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center Tuesday.

With the theme “Data Privacy: Safeguarding trust in travel and tourism”, the event aims to encourage compliance awareness, accountability and a sense of urgency within the sector.

During the same conference, the NPC and and key leaders in the consumer finance industry including executives representing top airlines, travel agencies, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, hospitality and other allied organizations agreed to be partners in building a resilient data privacy culture in the Philippines. —Llanesca T. Panti/NB, GMA News