by: Ronald Escanlar
Thursday, February 17, 2011 | Outsourcing News |
In a legislative move to further support the growing BPO industry in the country, the Philippine Congress has approved on its second reading the proposed Data Privacy Act of 2011.
The bill, “An Act Protecting Individual Personal Data in Information and Communications Systems in the Government and the Private Sector, Providing Penalties in Violation Thereof”, will cover the governance and management of private individual data collected by the government and private companies such as banking institutions and credit card facilities. The bill states that personal data should only be collected for legitimate reasons, and these must be determined first before any collection is undertaken. The government and the private sector will have to erase the collected personal data after processing.
The bill mandates that data controllers and processors must employ measures in safeguarding personal data against accidental or illegal misuse, destruction, disclosure, alteration, or even illegal processing. Also, the bill makes it illegal to share personal data with third parties. Companies that fail to safeguard personal data will be fined by as much as PHP5 million (USD 115,000), the bill states.
“The approval of the Data Privacy Act on second reading sends the right signals not only to existing foreign locators in the business process outsourcing industry but also to the many global players which are just deciding whether to invest in our country and participate in the IT-BPO space,” commented Martin Crisostomo, executive director for external affairs of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).
The bill was filed by Representative Roman Romulo in July of last year. A counterpart bill in the Philippine Senate was filed during the same time.