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From: James Galvez
Sent: 1/16/2020 6:52 P
16 January 2020
Philippine privacy commission wants financial information classified as ‘sensitive personal data’ |
Proposed amendments waiting Senate sponsor
Higher fines, increased protection for minors planned
The Philippines’ National Privacy Commission (NPC) wants to change the classification of financial information from ‘personal data’ to ‘sensitive personal data’ to further strengthen data privacy in the country, NPC Commissioner Raymond Liboro told PaRR.
Such a move would put the Philippines well ahead of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, Liboro said.
“In Europe, there is a clamor by consumer groups for the inclusion of financial information to special categories of data. For the NPC, we want the Philippines to be one of the first jurisdictions to adopt the proposal,” Liboro said.
Under the Data Privacy Act (DPA) of 2012, sensitive personal information relates to matters such as race, ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, physical or mental health and sexual orientation.
The financial information proposal is part of a wider process to amend the DPA, he said.
“A proposal has already been filed in the House of Representatives, and we are just looking for a sponsor for a Senate counterpart of the bill,” he said.
Despite being a relatively young agency, Liboro said it is high time to amend the law based on global trends and a fast-evolving online environment.
“We are aware that an amendment to the law is a double-edge sword. But we have to keep our laws sharp to address serious domestic and cross-border threats,” Liboro said.
The proposed amendments also include changing the definition of key terms, strengthening the rights of minors and increasing fines for privacy violations.
Abraham Guiyab, a lawyer and data protection specialist with Abad Alcantara & Associates, welcomed the proposed sector-specific amendments.
“Financial information is a strong source of discrimination particularly when it comes to financial technology,” he said.
Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) also expressed support for the proposals but stressed that the amendments should “define sensitive financial information with clarity.”
“Penalties should also be…punitive…otherwise violators simply pay the fines but get away with data privacy violations,” LKI President Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba told PaRR.
In a related development,
Liboro said that the NPC is now working hard to craft an administrative order that would allow the imposition of penalties in administrative cases to come into force the first quarter of 2020.
“We want to have the fines … mechanism in place as we wait for Congress’ amendment of law,” he said.
by James Konstantin Galvez in Manila
National Privacy Commission