Bicam fixes exclusions, OKs Data Privacy Act

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[/caption] Earlier, media organizations protested the previous version of the bill, citing certain provisions that could be used to impose stiff penalties on journalists for ?breaches of confidentiality.? ?No less than our Constitution upholds press freedom and the media?s function of responsible reporting,? Sen. Edgardo Angara, the bill?s main author, said in a statement. ?So the bicam committee quickly rectified any ambiguity in the bill that may be leveraged to put a muzzle on our journalists, producers or any of our media practitioners.? Section 4 of the approved Data Privacy Act outlines exclusions to the scope of the measure, which include ?Personal information processed for journalistic, artistic, literary, or research purposes.? Section 5 of the measure provides further protection to the media by stating that no provision in the Data Privacy Act can be interpreted as to have amended or appealed Republic Act no. 53, which exempts publishers, editors or reporters of any publication from revealing their sources of information. Angara, who is also chair of the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Engineering (Comste), underscored that once signed into law, the measure will boost confidence in the country?s booming information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry and growing e-government initiatives. ?The bill makes it mandatory for all data collectors ? whether public or private ? to protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of all the personal information they collect. By doing this, we help usher in a truly knowledge-driven economy,? explained the legislator. He explained that once signed into law, the country’s data privacy standards will be at par with the global community as outlined by the EU and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. ?We refined the measure further so that it cannot be used to curtail the flow of information that may be of public interest, without infringing on every person?s right to privacy, which is also underpinned by our Constitution,? stressed Angara.]]>

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