NPC amends its 2021 Rules of Procedure

PASAY CITY – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) issued NPC Circular No. 2024-01 on January 26, 2024, which amends certain provisions of its 2021 Rules of Procedure. The amendments are set to take effect on February 10, 2024, and aims to reinforce the NPC's strategies and procedures in addressing emerging challenges and evolving privacy concerns.

Privacy Commissioner Atty. John Henry D. Naga said that the Circular reflects the improvements made by the NPC in the case resolution process and the fostering of compliance among personal information controllers (PICs) and personal information processors (PIPs).

“With the difficulties encountered by the NPC over the past couple of years, especially during the pandemic, it is imperative to streamline, improve, and institutionalize its processes and procedures and amend certain provisions of its Rules of Procedure. To this end, the NPC will be able to further carry out its mandates and functions efficiently.” Commissioner Naga said.

Streamlined Complaint and Investigation Process

Section 2 of NPC Circular 2024-01 amended Section 1, Rule II of the 2021 Rules of Procedure to clarify the criteria for filing a complaint, introducing specific provisions for minors, individuals alleged to be incompetent, and non-resident citizens.

Section 3 amended Section 6, Rule III of the 2021 NPC Rules of Procedure to recognize the service of judgments, orders, or resolutions issued by the NPC through electronic systems.

Section 4 of the NPC Circular 2024-01 allows for multiple parties to join or be joined as either complainants or respondents in one complaint. This streamlined process enhances efficiency and speedy resolution of complaints.

For alternative dispute resolution, Section 5 amended Rule VI of the 2021 Rules of Procedure to institutionalize videoconferencing technology as an alternative venue for mediation proceedings, enabling the remote appearance and testimony of parties beyond NPC premises; furthermore, it clarifies that parties can re-apply for mediation despite prior failure to reach a settlement, subject to other provisions provided in NPC Circular 2024-01.

Intensified Compliance Measures

Section 10 of the Circular included Rule XII for Compliance Checks. These checks ascertain whether the activities by PICs and PIPs that involve the processing of personal data are carried out in accordance with the standards provided under the Data Privacy Act of 2012, its Implementing Rules and Regulations, and related issuances.

Compliance Checks include the conduct of a Privacy Sweep of all publicly available or accessible information such as websites, mobile applications, raffle coupons, brochures, privacy notices, social media pages or accounts, and physical or digital forms of a PIC or PIP. Furthermore, the NPC may conduct on-the-spot Privacy Sweeps at the premises, pop-up stores, kiosks, or stalls of a PIC or PIP where personal data is processed, focusing on public areas and publicly available or accessible information.

For more information, access the Circular here: link