NPC PHE BULLETIN No. 6: Collect the minimum necessary information in providing financial aid and other relief packages to those affected by the enhanced community quarantine

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) supports efforts by the national government to provide much-needed assistance to our people in these extraordinary times.

We remind all government offices, including local government units, to further ease the people’s burden by exercising proportionality and collecting less of their data to facilitate such assistance.

Collect only necessary personal details, such as those required according to usual accounting, auditing, and budgeting rules and regulations when disbursing public funds, as well as other applicable laws and regulations.

Avoid burdening recipients with personal data requirements that are beyond the minimum necessary, which would only impede the speedy flow of aid distribution in this time of urgency.

All collected personal data must be safeguarded to prevent any unauthorized access and use. Appropriate retention and disposal policies should also be in place. Collect to meet present objectives and discard any notion of possible future use of the data.

On the part of the employers, the need to obtain consent from concerned affected workers is not required under the present emergency when submitting requirements to government regulatory agencies mandated to distribute aid to these workers.

It is during these trying times that the data protection officers of companies are needed to provide timely and sensible advice to their management, considering all attendant circumstances and mindful of the rights and interests of the affected workers.

NPC remains committed to working with all agencies tasked in distributing aid to provide additional guidance and inputs, as may be necessary and appropriate.

For further guidance, we may be reached at [email protected].

Privacy Commissioner