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Is your data in the Philippines secure?

FlatPlanetDataSecurityWhen you are outsourcing, it’s normal to be concerned about data protection and security issues. In the Philippines, there are continuing steps to assure foreign investors and their business partners that their data is secure. In September 2012, the Philippine government signed into a law the Data Privacy Act or Republic Act 10173. The law meets international standards of data privacy protection and aims to protect the confidentiality of personal data, as well as business data as it is meant to boost foreign investments in the country’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector so that it can reach its earnings forecast of $27.4 billion by 2016.

The law was patterned after the standards established by the European Parliament and follows those set by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Information Privacy Network.

Commonwealth republics such as Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore follow these standards. The new law covers all types of processed personal information.

The Data Privacy Law’s main provisions include one that states how the disclosure of personal information shall be allowed subject to certain requirements, including consent of data subject and stated legitimate purposes.

The rights of the data subject are also provided for, including the scope and purpose of the information processing. Data collectors must implement appropriate measures for the protection of personal data taken from data subjects.

If a company released personal information, to another company without client’s consent, the first company will be found guilty of violating the Data Privacy Law.

Under the law, the unauthorized processing of personal data is punishable by one to three years imprisonment and a fine of not less than Php 500,000 but not more than Php 2 million (USD 12,000 to USD 96,000). The higher penalty is set specifically for those who acquire personal data without consent of owners or through illegal means.

Industry players welcomed the passage of law and said that it was a very positive development as most of their work involves confidential personal and company information.  

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