NPC leads creation of new global working group on “data sharing for the public good”

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) is leading the formation of a new working group under the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) aimed at gathering and promoting data-sharing best practices to guide governments and regulators toward a post-pandemic economic recovery.

“The new working group will focus on identifying practical approaches on how personal data can be shared and used to usher in innovation and growth while protecting individual rights and promoting public trust,” NPC Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said.

The resolution of the working group also underlines the need for governments, the private sector, and the academe to prevent and be vigilant against the abuse of data sharing in the guise of “public good” or “common good” purposes.

The creation of the group comes at a time that personal data processing has become integral to sustain a safe economic recovery amid privacy risks.

Health passports

Liboro noted that concerns were already emerging in the sharing of personal data in health passports, health monitoring of incoming travelers and returning nationals, contact-tracing, and handling of children’s or students’ data in e-learning technologies.

“The working group endeavors to strengthen the capacity of GPA members and observers in developing proactive responses to curb risks in data-sharing activities,” Liboro added while highlighting the need to integrate privacy-by-design across data sharing processes and agreements.

The resolution on data sharing for the public good was submitted at the 43rd GPA by the NPC as COVID-19 Working Group chair. Reports on the progress of the new GPA working group will be presented at the Assembly’s 2022 closed session.

The working group to be formed will build on the gains of the COVID-19 Working Group, which was created with a mandate of one year to assist and provide its members with advice on best practices, insights and practical responses regarding privacy issues during a pandemic.

The 30-member COVID-19 Working Group, despite a relatively short stint, achieved significant outcomes in furthering the mission of the GPA, including the conduct of various capacity-building activities and the two-part Compendium of Best Practices in Response to COVID-19.

Deepening int’l cooperation

“The GPA is alive and flourishing thanks to our interactions and exchanges,” newly elected GPA Chair Blanca Lilia Ibarra Cadena said at the 43rd GPA, held virtually on October 18-21, 2021. Cadena is also President Commissioner of Mexico’s INAI (National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection).

“Our partnership is deepening, with our cooperation covering issues that concern society as a whole, achieving a growing impact. The ideas expressed at this conference invite us to rethink and draw new horizons on the incorporation of best practices in the handling of personal data,” Cadena added.

Liboro echoed this, saying “international work forms a vital role in NPC’s mandate.”

“We need to show the world that the Philippines is a responsible steward of personal data and that privacy is alive and well in our country. It’s important to convey both to our local and global audience that the aim of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 is to protect and uphold data subject rights to instill trust in our institutions, government, and businesses,” Liboro said.

The GPA is an international body that has been providing an avenue for privacy dialogues and collaboration for over 130 privacy and data protection authorities for the past four decades. The Assembly is organized into working groups that concentrate on its most significant initiatives.