The government said it will relaunch the multi-billion Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) after it crashed due to the sheer number of Filipinos wanting to register during its launch last April 30.
Software teams developing Covid-19 contact-tracing apps for local government units (LGUs) are advised to incorporate a privacy-by-design (PbD) approach and allow users to opt in and out of digital contact tracing.
Repurposing personal data is punishable under the Data Privacy Act (DPA), the NPC said in an advisory issued on October 23 in response to complaints from citizens against business establishments over mishandling and misuse of contact-tracing data, such as a customer’s name, address, age, cellphone number and e-mail.
The government will be requiring airport passengers next month to download Traze, a QR code-based app jointly developed by local firm Cosmotech Philippines and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), which will be pilot-tested in four airports to strengthen the government’s fight against Covid-19.
The NPC said the chief concerns were the improper use of logbooks and the lack of appropriate data-protection measures that left in the open filled-out contact-tracing forms that contain customers' data, such as names, addresses and contact details, which other people could see.
The statement comes in light of inquiries and information communicated to National Privacy Commission that private establishments as well as some government agencies collect signatures and other personal data that are immaterial in contact-tracing efforts.
NPC chair Raymund E. Liboro said that a survey it conducted showed that contact tracing and location tracking ranked as the most pressing privacy issue for many jurisdictions and organizations globally.
The Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) Covid-19 Taskforce, headed by NPC chair Raymund Liboro, is hosting its first webinar on "Contact Tracing and the Apple and Google Solution: In Conversation with the Technical Specialists" on Monday, July 6.