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Phl-UK privacy partnership

There’s a digital reset happening worldwide. Globally, consumers and citizens have migrated to digital

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Covid-19 highlighted the importance of developing policies that preserve citizens’ data privacy rights, especially the underprivileged.

Last year saw a need for a response to the public health crisis that is rooted in trust. Public awareness and caution on data privacy were heightened. There was a loud, worldwide clamor for governments to develop an environment where efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 coexist with privacy standards.

And what better way for the Philippines to find practices and policies that carry out this delicate balance than to partner with leading privacy authorities worldwide, like the United Kingdom Information Commissioner’s Office (UK ICO).

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) signed a bilateral agreement with our counterpart in the United Kingdom through a virtual ceremony last 13 January. The UK-ICO is an independent authority with a twin task of defending information rights by promoting government bodies’ openness and upholding individuals’ data privacy rights.

UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has always supported the NPC in capacity-building, establishing best practices, and awareness campaigns. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) formalizes and deepens this long-time partnership to pave the way for more robust and much-needed coordination.

We aim to support each other’s work by exchanging best practices and policies and keep each other up to date with privacy and protection developments in the Philippines and the UK.

Initial cooperation areas include education and training programs, joint research projects, and intelligence information exchange to involve potential or ongoing investigations on Data Privacy Act violations, breaches and other security incidents in our respective jurisdictions.

We aim to support each other’s work by exchanging best practices and policies and keep each other up to date with privacy and protection developments in the Philippines and the UK.

It is exciting to work again with Commissioner Denham, this time on a bilateral level. We have been working closely with the NPC as a member of the Execom and Commissioner Denham as chair of the Global Privacy Assembly.

The UK ICO acknowledges the NPC’s accomplishments in recent years. And we both see the agreement as a milestone to boost each others’ technical capacity, leadership and governance that will allow us to influence global and national policy-making and direction on data protection.

This partnership with UK ICO is just the beginning. To attain our vision of a Philippines with a deeply embedded data privacy resilience, the NPC targets to seal more bilateral partnerships for more vital capacity in policy-making, awareness enforcement and investigation.

There’s a digital reset happening worldwide. Globally, consumers and citizens have migrated to digital.

In this connected world, it will be essential to ensure convergence and interoperability between privacy authorities through international dialogue, agreements and cooperation. This is vital to deliver effective privacy protection for our citizens and maximize responsible and beneficial data use.

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