[B-SIDE Podcast] ‘Privacy by design’: data protection and the upcoming elections

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Almost five million cyberattacks were attempted against desktop users in the Philippines from January to June of this year. This is about double the number of attacks recorded by digital privacy firm Kaspersky in the same period of last year.

In this B-Side episode, National Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro speaks with BusinessWorld reporter Jenina P. Ibanez about preventing personal data misuse during the health crisis and in the lead up to the national elections next year.


The pandemic has increased privacy risks …

Risks come about when companies do not consider accountability or ethics in processing personal data, Mr. Liboro said.

Most privacy complaints at the start of the pandemic came from the misuse of health-related personal data; along with workplace, online retail, and identity theft complaints.

Online lending applications have also been taking advantage of people in dire need during the pandemic by using their personal information to harass them into paying debts.

… but these risks are preventable.

“We can prevent these risks from happening because they are manmade,” Mr. Liboro said.

Companies and government institutions should be accountable, compliant, and ethical in using personal data, in accordance with the Data Privacy Law. “Practice privacy by design. We do that by taking full cognizance of the potential risks that processing involves, and try to mitigate and address these risks,” he said.

Filipino citizens, he added, should also make sure to be circumspect in consenting to offering personal data. People have a right to be informed about the use of their information.

Personal data can be misused during the upcoming elections.

Personal data could be misused and repurposed in the lead up to the national elections next year. The NPC had earlier flagged an election-related survey website that it found was collecting excessive data.

“We will be coming up with policy advice for the national elections on what would be the fair and lawful use under the circumstances,” Mr. Liboro said.

This B-Side episode was recorded remotely on Aug. 27. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.

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