NPC to launch campaign against 'careless use of online services'

MANILA, Philippines – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) announced it will launch a campaign to increase people's knowledge on how they might be placing their information at risk through online services. 

Dubbed "PSST!" or Privacy, Safety, Security and Trust online, the yearlong advocacy campaign is meant to "boost the general public’s awareness of the risks brought on by careless and carefree use of online services," said the NPC in a press statement. 

"This multi-stakeholder campaign is a call-out on the hazards of people’s bad habits online habits and behaviors, coupled with friendly suggestions and reminders on being a responsible Filipino social media citizen," said the NPC.

The campaign comes as a response to the growing issue of data privacy both in the global and local context.

Globally, the world's largest social network, Facebook, faced a massive controversy when a quiz app harvested and passed on Facebook user data to analytics firm Cambridge Analytica – data that may have then assisted Donald Trump in getting elected to the US presidency. (READ: Cambridge Analytica to close after Facebook data scandal)

Locally, Jollibee's delivery website, Jollibeedelivery.com, reported a data breach in December 2017 that may have compromised user information, triggering the NPC to order the suspension of the website. 

The number of breaches is growing as reported by the NPC. In 2017, the commission received a total of 221 cases comprised of breach notifications, complaints, inquiries and investigations. From January 2018 to April 2018 alone, the commission has already received 208 total cases – just 13 cases short of the 2017 totals. 

The higher number of reported cases in 2018 may have also been the result of the NPC's mandate last year for companies to assign a data protection officer (DPO) by September 8, 2017. A DPO's responsibility is to ensure the protection of personal data collected and processed by a company. 

PSST! equates to being the NPC's consumer-side initiative for data protection. 

National Data Privacy Conference

Aside from the PSST!, the NPC will also be holding a National Data Privacy Conference, its flagship event during its Privacy Awareness Week, starting May 28.

At the conference, the NPC said they will be launching development programs for data privacy officers, for whom a global job market demand of 75,000 reportedly awaits; the multi-sectoral Data Privacy Council; and the Privacy Compliance Sweep, a random scan of a company's public-facing channels, that may result in a full scan if needed. 

The conference will be held on May 28 and 29 at the Philippine International Convention Center. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.

image