NPC survey: PH now with heightened data privacy awareness & knowledge, driven by social media and TV

Based on a recent survey commissioned by the National Privacy Commission (NPC), public awareness and knowledge on the Data Privacy Act (DPA) grew from 13% in 2017 to 25% in 2021. However, most of those with internet access still lack awareness of internet security, with only 9% awareness of appropriate social media usage.

The nationwide survey conducted by the Philippine Survey and Research Center (PSRC) was held from October to November 2021. The survey’s respondents are males and females aged 18 years old and above from ABCDE income homes.

The PSRC survey measured public awareness, practices, and perception of data protection and privacy issues. These results will help the Commission in monitoring the progress and impact of its activities, and to aid in developing evidence-based policies, programs, and projects.

The survey found that data privacy awareness is concentrated in the National Capital Region (NCR), balance Luzon and urban areas, where internet ownership, or those who own or have access to the internet, is highest. Furthermore, the survey also found that the dissemination of information through social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and television contributed to the growth of public awareness and knowledge.

Grassroots approach

Awareness of the DPA has a significant effect on how respondents perceive the relevance of data privacy. The survey found that individuals who consider the DPA relevant are aware of data privacy and can effectively articulate how it protects one’s information. Conversely, those who find the DPA irrelevant lack data privacy awareness.

To address the continuous need to increase data privacy awareness, the Commission plans to utilize a grassroots approach. “The National Privacy Commission recognizes the importance of continuously promoting data privacy awareness, most especially in locations such as rural areas and those in the lower economic classes. Therefore, we are planning to focus our efforts in increasing data privacy and protection awareness, which in effect will educate and empower data subjects, making them less vulnerable to data privacy abuses,” Privacy Commissioner John Henry D. Naga said.

“Heightened awareness and familiarity with data privacy concepts and the DPA are essential in improving public satisfaction, trust, and engagement with the NPC,” the NPC Chief added.

Interest among younger people, high satisfaction in NPC

The survey found that respondents are satisfied with the NPC, showing a 41% satisfaction and 36% trust rating, with NCR, Mindanao, urban areas, ABC sector, and younger segments registering high scores. Satisfied individuals are able to articulate how the NPC protects them (e.g., to protect personal information, protect data privacy, for security).

Respondents who gave a satisfactory rating believe that NPC upholds its mandate in protecting the people’s data privacy rights. They can also articulate how the Commission protects its stakeholders from personal data misuse and abuse.

In using social media as a medium to disseminate information, data privacy awareness is expected to increase among younger adults in the 18 to 29 age group. The survey found that this particular age group exhibits the highest interest in learning data privacy.

In recognizing the importance of instilling a culture of data privacy in the youth to create a better digital landscape for future generations, the NPC currently implements Kabataang Digital, an advocacy campaign for the youth, aimed at raising awareness on data privacy principles and promoting online safety among children.

Access the full survey here: CONDUCT OF PRIVACY SURVEY Final Report v3