Privacy Commissioner’s statement on invoking data privacy in the refusal to comply with subpoenas

We would like to reiterate that the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (DPA) does not prohibit the disclosure of personal or sensitive personal information (collectively, personal data) when necessary for purposes of complying with validly issued subpoenas by government investigating bodies. Data privacy rights should not be cited as an excuse to evade legal proceedings.

While we advocate for the protection of the right to data privacy of data subjects, there are provisions in the law that recognizes the processing of personal information when necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or to fulfill functions of public authorities. On the other hand, sensitive personal information may also be processed when provided for by existing laws and regulations, or necessary for establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims, among others.

We hope that this clarifies the scope and limitation of our law and its implications to existing and future legal proceedings.


Privacy Commissioner