NPC Statement on the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) welcomes the visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Ms. Irene Khan, on January 23, 2024. This visit presents an opportunity for an open dialogue, fostering discussions on the relationship between the right to privacy and freedom of opinion and expression as crucial aspects of a vibrant democracy.

Privacy Commissioner Atty. John Henry D. Naga will engage in a discussion with Ms. Khan, presenting the NPC’s initiatives and accomplishments that highlight its efforts in advocating for freedom of expression while protecting the right to privacy. This is provided for under the provisions of Republic Act No. 10173, also known as the “Data Privacy Act of 2012,” which extends protection to journalists and their sources. Additionally, the law also exempts personal information processed for journalistic, artistic, literary, or research purposes.

As technology evolves, so do the challenges surrounding privacy and freedom of expression. The NPC is dedicated to addressing these challenges through collaborative efforts and constructive dialogues, developing initiatives and policies that strike a balance between protecting personal information while ensuring the free flow of information. This guarantees that individuals can express themselves without fear of unwarranted surveillance or infringement on their personal information.

The NPC looks forward to a productive and enlightening exchange with Ms. Khan, reinforcing its commitment to privacy as an enabler, not a hindrance, to the promotion of democratic values where privacy and freedom of expression can coexist in harmony.