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DICT: “Stop unscrupulous persons from harvesting improperly disposed gov’t data”

By Rosalita Manlangit


DAET, Camarines Norte --- Misuse of discarded documents was identified as one of causes of data privacy leaks in government offices.


According to lawyer Psydi Mae O. Oatemar, resource person of Data Privacy Act of 2012 seminar conducted by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), unscrupulous individuals harvest data from improperly disposed official documents.


“Important documents are being recycled, displayed as barriers in the wall, thrown directly in the trash are some of the misused practices in the government offices,” she lamented.


Oatemar said misused documents in the government will be avoided if the offices will implement organizational, physical and technical measures.


On the organizational measure, it should create a culture of privacy where policies are in place and every individual is aware and this must be cascaded. The organization should give priority on data privacy because it is an obligation since there is a law on this, she said.


The government office or organization can also designate a Data Privacy Officer (DPO) to take charge on this matter.


For the physical measure, devices in the office should not be accessible to all, have file cabinets and those authorized are the only ones who can access the documents.


On the technical measure, those communications in government issued email or personal use should be encrypted or protected.


Lawyer Psydi Mae O. Oatemar discusses the Data Privacy Act of 2012 fundamentals during a seminar spearheaded by the Department of Information and Communications Technology for government workers. (PIA5/Camarines Norte)


The device settings in the issued laptop should also be checked by an Information Technology (IT) officer in the organization at least once a year in order to ensure that there are no personal files in it, she said.


With regards to those websites that were hacked, she said that these happened because they are the targets, but hackers may have difficulty if the office has the above measures.


She also advised individuals to be aware that before they click specially in social media, always bear in their minds that, why is it that they need a particular data, and is the purpose legitimate.


“Data privacy is a communal effort, you should not only protect yourselves but also you protect others.”, she said.


She urged everyone to be involved and have knowledge on data privacy. The public can get the right information at the website of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) including its circular and the implementation of the law on the protection of data.


Aileen L. Rillon, DICT provincial officer, said the seminar, which was attended by government workers, aimed to create awareness among them.


She said that after the training, the participants could come up with a measure on how to handle data privacy protocols.


The government offices could also conduct Data Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA) and be prepared to implement robust data protection measures that ensure legal compliance and applicable regulations while following emerging trends of data privacy.


The topics discussed during the seminar included fundamental of data privacy and Philippine regulations, developing a customized data privacy compliance framework, ensuring data security and managing breaches, data privacy impact assessments (DPIAs) for government projects and practical application and future trends.


In attendance were heads and representatives of PIA, BJMP, DTI, TESDA, PSA, DENR, DSWD, DPWH, DOLE, CNSC, DOST, BFAR, DENR, NBI, BFP, DepEd, BFAR, DENR-PENRO, provincial government of Camarines Norte; and municipal governments of San Vicente, Vinzons, Basud, Talisay, Daet, San Lorenzo Ruiz and Jose Panganiban. (PIA5/Camarines Norte).


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