“We get a number of these cases,” Liboro told The STAR in an interview on the sidelines of the opening ceremonies of the Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) recently.
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Nosy neighbors, family gossip headaches for privacy body
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - May 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Complaints of invasion of privacy stemming from relatives and neighbors who talk too much are becoming a headache for the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro said that while the number of such complaints comprise a small percentage of the cases that they have received so far at the NPC, these have been taking up the attention of their limited manpower for “priority” cases that the Data Privacy Act of 2012 was made for.

“We get a number of these cases,” Liboro told The STAR in an interview on the sidelines of the opening ceremonies of the Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) recently.

“We have classified them as domestic or household cases,” he added.

These cases, according to Liboro, are complaints of invasion of privacy involving family or clans where a family member had somehow gabbed about a family member, or a neighbor who spilled the beans on some personal information about a person or what the NPC calls a “data subject.”

The privacy commissioner said the cases basically appear to be matters for the police, the barangay or the courts to decide.

“In three years, we have seen a plethora of cases that have come to our attention and we are also looking at. Of course, as a privacy commission, we have to know our priorities,” Liboro said.

“Our priority here, of course, are violations... that could actually produce the highest possibility of risks and harm to individuals,” he pointed out, referring to large-scale cases or those unauthorized processing of personal information involving technology and very evident public risk.

Liboro, however, said that the NPC continues to receive such domestic or household cases if they are filed by aggrieved data subjects.

“We cannot dismiss it outright because they are also data subjects, they were also violated, and those that are being complained against are also personal data controllers, by definition,” he said.

If there is a complaint of misuse of personal data by any controller and both parties did not arrive at a resolution of the complaint, then any data subject can bring the case to the commission, according to Liboro.

“We will have to look into this to weigh whether it falls within the purview of the law and determine if there could have been a violation of any of its provisions. We cannot immediately dismiss it,” he said.

“But we have to come up with a determination on how to treat and process such violations involving domestic and household cases,” he added.

This made the inclusion of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police and Department of Justice in the coalition for unity in the PAW celebration a welcome development, according to Liboro.

The coalition was made up of data protection officers from the government and the private sector to form a united front to strengthen the protection of data of “digital Filipinos.”

DATA PRIVACY ACT OF 2012 NATIONAL PRIVACY COMMISSION PRIVACY AWARENESS WEEK
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