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Every 28th of January, we celebrate Data Privacy Day. Pre-pandemic, a bunch of seminars, and events are held in order for everyone to have a better understanding of what entails giving away our private details, most especially on the web. Here in the Philippines, we have the Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012. Amid being a young law compared to data law of other countries, this helped in making most, if not all of us to be mindful of the data we disclose. 

According to last year’s study, Filipinos are still the leading internet users in the world, spending an average of 10 hours and 2 minutes on the web per day. We bet, it became a lot higher during the pandemic, where all of us switch on online purchases, in order for us to adhere to the safety protocols posted by the government and the Health Department. Indeed, e-commerce had a blast! While keeping our distance to avoid transmission as well as being infected by the virus, admit it or not, we are giving away our personal data, most especially if we need to process our payments online. Unfortunately, some of us fall into the hands of hackers and phishers, and that is why we need to be more vigilant in giving out our details, online or even offline.

Now, what is the Data Privacy Act of 2012? How can it protect us in case of data breaching? Here are some of the notable provisions of this law that you can be handy if *fingers crossed* your data has been compromised, whether it is yours, your friends, or an important piece of data in your company or your organization:

The Data Privacy Act of 2012 is a 21st century law to address 21st century crimes and concerns. It (1) protects the privacy of individuals while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth; (2) regulates the collection, recording, organization, storage, updating or modification, retrieval, consultation, use, consolidation, blocking, erasure or destruction of personal data; and (3) ensures that the Philippines complies with international standards set for data protection through National Privacy Commission (NPC).

data privacy act of 2012 sections

Photo via National Privacy Commission website

Government agencies and private companies are responsible for protecting their employees, employers, their organization, and their clients’ data. In cases which you feel that your data has been compromised, you have:

The Right to be Informed

As the owner of the data (data subject) you have the right to know where your data is stored and utilized. 

The Right to Access

This is where you can gain access to the information any organization has on you and their purpose as to why they have them.

The Right to Object

You have the right to disagree or to say no if you feel that your data is being used for unnecessary purposes that will endanger and violate your privacy.

The Right to Erasure or Blocking 

The Data Privacy Act of 2012 allows you to have your information blocked or deleted, under various circumstances, one of which is when your information has been illegally obtained by the information collector.

The Right to Damages

You can claim a rightful compensation for the damages you incurred due to wrongful disclosure of your data.

The right to File a Complaint with the National Privacy Commission

If your data has been used without your consent or in a wrong manner, you can file a formal complaint with the National Privacy Commission.

The right to Rectify

You have the right to have your information corrected or updated by the information holder, unless otherwise, found invalid. 

In this time and age, we need to be extra careful of what and how we disclose our data online. Always check for the legitimacy of the websites you are about to give your personal data with. And, it is also best that we know what to do if our data has been compromised.

 Happy Data Privacy Day! 


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