Are we taking data privacy protection seriously?

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry J. Schumacher (The Freeman) - April 9, 2021 - 12:00am

It is important to realize, especially in the Philippine setting, that - as economies digitalize - cross border transfer of personal data becomes more common. That’s the reason why the Philippines joined the APEC Cross Border Protection Rules (CBPR) economies and was expected to create the infrastructure to implement the APEC CBPR. Alas, it did not happen und there seems to be no urgency on the Philippine side to move forward.

While many of us understand that Philippine companies will have to comply with data protection laws across boundaries, no progress is visible, despite the fact that Philippine based BPO companies wish to expand their services to the EU, the UK, the US, and APEC at large. Remember that this sector books US$ 26 billion in revenues and employs 1.3 million people.

While the Dept. of Information and Communication (DICT) aims to boost the BPO sector as job generator, it is unfortunate to see data breaches arising due to third-party service providers, given the fact that the pandemic has created thousands of e-commerce companies which have not taken cybercrime dangers and the need for cyber security measures seriously. Cyberattacks versus businesses jumped 31% from March 2020 to March 2021!! Is the National Privacy Commission defending the rights of the individuals?

It has to be understood that overriding the rights to privacy of individuals, given the current health and economic situations, can lead to a social crisis. The view that data privacy and protection is not essential in critical times will lead to the dissolution of basic human rights as we know it. The high risk of negative consequences in setting aside data privacy and protection will diminish the social fabric of society. We must continue to be a community, connected in a relationship that respects our individual rights. Society must be allowed to thrive on the relationship of rights and obligations much more in trying times.

In the difficult situation we find ourselves in today, deducing data privacy and protection rights as hindrance to the implementation of the government and organizations strategy of reducing community transmission, is detrimental to helping the most vulnerable group in this pandemic, the patients, and we have plenty in the Philippines – unfortunately.

I am happy to announce that we are running two webinars in April that should be of great interest for companies:

1. Avoiding Data & Privacy Breaches

Learn Data Privacy and Protection in a simple way, allowing you to immediately start a privacy management program across your organization. Translate your privacy vision to your operations down to every employee in the company, understanding that data breaches are incurred by people in operations! 

2. Cybercrime to Cybersecurity

The Philippines recognizes the need to curb cybercrime in line with the vital role of information and communications industries in the nation's overall social and economic development and the need to protect and safeguard computer systems and networks from all forms of misuse, abuse, and illegal access. It is therefore the responsibility of organizations and individuals to implement cybersecurity to protect internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyber threats leading to data and computer-related fraud.

Let me reiterate that data management and analytics have become 'core business functions' in 2021:

• Data and analytics will morph into a core business function in 2021, as companies infuse these capabilities into business functions;

• Throughout 2021, companies will see data and analytics as a shared business asset connected to business results;

• Disruption stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic led data and analytics leaders to identify key technology trends and prioritize those with the biggest potential impact on their competitive advantage.

Given this, we offer the webinar Understanding Data Science and Analytics.

In conclusion, allow me to repeat that the high risk of negative consequences in setting aside data privacy and protection will diminish the social fabric of society. We must continue to be a community connected in a relationship that respects individual rights. Society must be allowed to thrive on the relationship of rights and obligations, especially at these trying times.

Feedback is appreciated; you can contact me at hjschumacher59@gmail.com    

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