NPC says privacy-related cases increased by 145% in 2018

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said the number of privacy-related cases that the agency received so far has increased by 145% from 2017.

NPC chairman Raymund Liboro

Of the 542 cases in 2018, 35.52% involved unauthorized processing while 36.44% were on data breaches, according to NPC chairman Raymund Liboro in his recent speech at Data Privacy Asia 2018 at the Makati Shangri-La hotel on Wednesday, September 19.

After the NPC’s two years of maiden operations, Liboro said the country now has a total of 23,081 registered Data Protection Officers (DPOs).

“Two years ago, we set out to do a job. We realized that we can only do it by tapping into the energies of our many stakeholders. We planned, we toiled, and here we are now: Lengthening our strides and emerging as one of the most promising data sectors in the world,” Liboro said.

Liboro emphasized that the NPC’s role is not to be a gatekeeper of public policy and technology but instead make sure the country’s privacy law is followed without hindering innovation and progress.

“We are here to remind data controllers especially government agencies that they must be transparent, wield a legitimate purpose, and exercise proportionality whenever they process personal data and that they must be equipped to mitigate potential risks to prevent harm to data subjects or citizens,” he added.

He noted, the same can be said of the soon to be launched National ID system by the government, where the NPC’s role was to make sure it was privacy-compliant.

“We already have robust enough laws and policy structures in place to make sure that our privacy rights are upheld. Our job in the NPC — my job as Privacy Commissioner — is to ensure that the law is followed now that government decided to implement a national ID policy,” Liboro said.

Liboro said the country’s goal of becoming a fully digital, high-trust society in 20 years is feasible as the government’s ICT and data privacy initiatives remain on on-track.

He said the Department of Information Communication and Technology (DICT) has the biggest role to play in the country’s digital shift, with the NPC performing a crucial support function.

“The programs laid by the DICT, from building ICT infrastructure, strengthening capacity and support to start-ups, lessening transaction costs in government will all lead towards making the country more competitive in today’s digital markets. NPC has a role to play, too. As digital transaction expand, so are the risks, threats and harms to individuals. Protecting citizens have gone beyond patrolling the streets and the country’s borders. Data is the new asset and personal data is the new target,” Liboro said.

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