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Acierto, Joanna Marie CE-1/B7

Quilla, Susane Marie September 29, 2019

Our country’s business process management and health information technology

industry is still developing nowadays. On top of that, the Philippines has also been called
the social media capital of the world as millions of Filipinos spend an average of almost
four hours a day on social media sites, particularly Facebook with a total of 42.1 million
Filipino users, 13 million users in YouTube, and 3.5 million users in LinkedIn wherein
millions of our data were being inputted and processed. This, in turn, gives rise to the
importance of data privacy, whereas we should have assurance regarding the security of
our data. When these data fall under the wrong hands, all sensitive information at hand
might be manipulated for their benefits and use it to cause us great harm. An example of
manipulation is identity theft, wherein a person deliberately uses someone else’s identity
for their advantage. Some of its effects are legal and credit troubles, stress, and tarnished
reputation that might not be salvaged, at worse, due to false accusations.

Problems regarding data privacy were solved through the implementation of Data
Privacy Act of 2012, which is a comprehensive and strict privacy legislation that “protects
the fundamental human right of privacy, of communication while ensuring free flow of
information to promote innovation and growth.” This also gave rise to the establishment
of National Privacy Commission that enforces and oversees this act. Last September 9,
2016, the specified implementing rules and regulations (IRR) was finalized. It protects
individuals from unauthorized processing of personal information that is (1) not publicly
available or private, and (2) the identity of the individual is apparent and identifiable.
Sensitive personal and privileged information pertains to the data regarding one’s race,
ethnic origin, marital status, age, color, affiliations, health, education, genetic or sexual
life, and others that were stated in the act. This also entails that there should be specified
and legitimate reasons for the collection of all personal information as well as its proper
handling. Furthermore, it is said that these data must be disposed properly whereas it is
not visible or accessible to unauthorized parties. Consequently, violators of this act will
be penalized accordingly. Violations such as improper disposal, negligent handling, and
unauthorized processing is punishable with up to five million pesos (Php 5,000,000) or
six (6) years in prison depending on the nature and degree of the violation.
Acierto, Joanna Marie CE-1/B7
Quilla, Susane Marie September 29, 2019

On January 8 this year, it has been announced by Foreign Secretary Teodoro

"Teddyboy" Locsin Jr that there has been an extensive passport data breaching
conducted by a former contractor for Philippine passports after terminating its contract
with the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is not only a threat to our national security but
as well as to our identities since the leaked records, which contain personal information
such as full name, date, and place of birth, and other information can be used illegally. In
resolving the problem, the Malacanang Palace, instructed the National Privacy
Commission, an agency that guarantees the security of information and communication
systems in the government and private sector, to investigate the passport data breach to
determine whether provisions of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, with
regards to the private information of the data subjects, were infringed. Fortunately, after
conducting a thorough investigation with regards to the passport data breaching, it has
been declared by Former Secretary Locsin that no data were lost or stolen. On the
downside, this accident would mean doubt and distrust with the way how the government
keeps local and national data. There is a saying "go out and see the world!"; However,
doing that with the passport application and renewal services that we have right now is
improbable. The government cannot even be trusted to protect the citizens' sensitive data,
which raises ethical dilemmas regarding the security of data storage. One of the gravest
public importance is the passport data breakdown, as stated earlier. There are millions of
inconvenienced Filipinos due to the burden of providing DFA new documents about their
birth whenever they renew their passports. Government is right to regard this as a serious
national security issue. The government should treat this issue with utmost seriousness
because this is not the first breach in the holding of personal data information by the
government. The Social Security System is facing a similar problem with its data record
system. Hence, the Data Privacy Act of 2012 is significant in our lives. Not only it is a law
that grants stronger protection for sensitive information like political opinions, religious
beliefs, medical and criminal records; It also manages personal data processes, permits
the Data protection authority to enforce rules, and holds organizations accountable to
penalties. A better implementation of this law would lead to well-secured data, citizens'
peace of mind, and trust and confidence in our government.