PH telcos, 3rd player told: compete on data privacy and protection to win customer trust

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) is urging local telecommunications operators Globe, Smart, and the incoming third player, Mislatel consortium to compete for consumer trust in terms of better services and better data privacy protection.

“This is what’s good about competition, it’s the customers who decide who to trust. So, why not let the telcos compete in the data privacy and protection space. Let them compete in terms of price, performance, and privacy. Then, let the people decide which one to trust their personal data with,” said Privacy Chairman Raymund Enriquez Liboro.

Speaking before members of the Chief Information Officers Forum in their general membership meeting at the Crowne Plaza in Quezon City, Commissioner Liboro added that what the government may do is invest more in public education.

“There’s no better way to secure our digital resources than with a citizenry fully aware and assertive of their data rights. It would be healthy for our democracy, and a way towards building a threat-resilient digital economy” he added.

As part of the NPC’s continuing awareness campaign, the agency will hold its nationwide educational symposium for the youth on data privacy in line with its PSST! campaign (Privacy, Safety, Security, & Trust online!) to bolster awareness and active involvement among students in protecting their own data online.

Over 500 participants are expected to join the half-day event happening on Friday, December 7, 2018, at the De La Salle University, Manila. Its focus is on student data privacy, or how to deal with the unique privacy challenges learners may encounter in an educational setting. Apart from evoking student vigilance against offline and online threats to privacy, the symposium aims to urge them to encourage their family and friends to do the same.

“It takes a community to build a threat-resilient digital Philippines, and youth involvement significantly hastens that progress. Through the PSST! educational symposium, we hope to have data subjects – beginning with young students -- realize their empowered role as the first line of defense in protecting their own privacy, and as co-partners with the NPC in building a culture of privacy,” Liboro said.

Coinciding with the National Human Rights Awareness Week, the event features insightful talks on data privacy rights as declared in the Data Privacy Act of 2012, and their implication in the pursuit protecting the privacy, safety, and security of all stakeholders in the education sector —especially the students.

“Just like with the telco industry, data has the power to transform the education sector and admittedly, this process begins in the collection and analysis of student data. But we must ensure that this is done within limits that protect the privacy of students and ensure that their information is used exclusively for legitimate educational purposes. When this framework is in place, trust issues would be minimized when embracing educational innovations,” said Liboro.

Included in the symposium are discussions on what every student can and must do to ensure that their personal data is private, safe, and secure; how “trust” can make or break the digital economy; career prospects in the field of data privacy; and what practical things every Filipino can do to help build a threat-resilient digital Philippines.

“Young students are already immersed in the digital lifestyle, but it appears a big majority are still clueless on the grammar of online privacy, safety, security, and trust. It’s high time we correct this,” Liboro added.

Among the special guests are representatives from the Department of Information and Communication Technology, Internet Society of the Philippines, Information Security Officers Group, Facebook, Google, and Data Protection Officers from top Philippine colleges.

According to the report Digital in 2018 in Southeast Asia, there are 67 million active Filipino social media users, making us the world leader in social media usage. The 18-24 age range, university to early-career age, make up the largest group of social media users in the Philippines. Students utilize social media platforms as virtual meetings outside classrooms and as an easily-accessible source of information. After college, virtually all fresh graduates took to the Internet for job hunting.

# # #