Privacy commission allows data sharing among government agencies

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - October 29, 2016 - 11:02pm

MANILA, Philippines - Government agencies may share their data with one another as long as they follow rules on protecting personal information, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has said.

The NPC recently issued a memorandum circular detailing the guidelines and rules governing data sharing agreements between government agencies.

“Freedom of information is more than just access requests to government, it is about responsible data sharing,” privacy commission Raymund Liboro said.

“Open data will contribute significantly to improving government services and coming up with new ones, supporting innovation and growth,” he added.

While data sharing is expected to enhance the services offered by the different agencies, the privacy commission stressed the need to implement safeguards to ensure that sensitive personal information are secured.

“These safeguards include adhering to data privacy principles, entering into Data Sharing Agreements, reviewing technical security measures when allowing online access and providing for the return, destruction or disposal of transferred personal data,” the NPC said.

“Violation of directives contained in the issuance may lead to sanctions – such administrative sanctions, fines or temporary or permanent ban on the processing of personal data,” it added.

Based on the guidelines, all agencies are required to obtain the consent of the subject prior to collection and processing of data, except in instances where a law explicitly states that consent is not required for the collection of specific data.

“The personal information controller may request an advisory opinion from the Commission in determining whether the data sharing requires consent from the data subject,” read the circular.

“Data sharing shall only be allowed where there are adequate safeguards for data privacy and security. The parties to a data sharing agreement shall use contractual or other reasonable means to ensure that personal data is covered by a consistent level of protection when it is shared or transferred,” it added.


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