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MANILA, Philippines – Technology now serves as the middleman for almost everything – may it be on ride-sharing services, social networking platforms, and online short-term lodging services, said Commissioner Raymund Liboro of the National Privacy Commission (NPC).
“We took away the middleman in everything we do [and replaced it with our] personal data,” said Liboro during the Social Good Summit on Saturday, September 16, in Taguig City.
While the internet brings with it a lot of benefits and advantages, it also has the capacity to put people in danger, he said.
Emphasizing the importance of protecting one’s private information online, he cited instances when the power of technology caused more harm than good.
Just last year, the Philippine Commission on Elections was hacked and resulted in the leak of citizens’ private information: birthdates, fingerprint data, addresses, citizenship information, passport information, and other valuable personal data. (READ: Website leaks Philippine voter data )
With this kind of environment, he stressed the importance of the right of everyone to have their private information secure.
The NPC is a government agency that seeks to uphold and protect the right to privacy, and at the same time ensure free flow of information to help spur innovation.
Liboro reminded the rights of a data subject when their private information is at stake:
- Right to data portability
- Right to object
- Right to be informed
- RIght to have access
- Right to correct/ rectify
- Right to block/remove
- Right to complain
The Philippines also has the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which gives the control of information back to the owner.
The law recognizes “the vital role of information and communications technology in nation-building and its inherent obligation to ensure that personal information in information and communications systems in the government and in the private sector are secured and protected,”
He added that this “law is a 21st-century law that protects one’s 21st-century rights”. Aside from the Data Privacy Act, the country also has the Cybercrime Prevention Act, Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act, and E-Commerce Act to ensure the protection of people’s online rights.
To prevent problems involving private information, Liboro gave simple and practical tips that can help citizens safeguard their information in the digital world.
- Create strong passwords
- Lock your devices
- Make sure there is an “https” on the browser address bar
- Do not log in to personal accounts using public WFi
- Install anti-virus software and update it regularly
- Clean up your Facebook groups
- Set up your Facebook privacy group settings
- Don’t be too public