Gov’t Sets Skills Standard for Filipino Privacy Experts via DPO ACE Program

THROUGH the National Privacy Commission (NPC), the government continued to strengthen data privacy protection in the Phlippines.

The NPC is doing this through its various programs of which some of the recent ones are PSST! or Privacy, Safety, Security, and Trust Online campaign, the Data Privacy Council, and Privacy Watch.

On Wednesday, December 12, the NPC launched its latest in the lineup, the Data Protection Officers (DPO) Accountability, Compliance and Ethics (ACE) Program.a Raymund LiboroNPC Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro led the unveiling of the program whose objective is the establishment of a skills benchmark for Filipino privacy professionals, following the rise in the demand for high-quality data privacy training in the country.

DPO ACE Program pilot class

To kick of the initial training, 50 practicing DPOs representing leading government offices and top corporations participated in the three-day pilot class of the DPO ACE Program held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City.

​Some of the public and private organizations in attendance are the DPOs from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Smart, Inc., ABS-CBN, San Miguel Corporation, IBM Philippines, Ospital ng Muntinlupa, MoneyGram, Home Credit, Cebu Pacific, De La Salle University (DLSU), LBC, Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOW), IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IT-BPAP), Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), Asian Institute of Management (AIM), and the Association of HMOs of the Philippines, Inc.

The NPC is the guardian of data privacy in the Philippines through its mandate bestowed through the Data Privacy Law of 2012. But it needs the collaboration of DPOs to fulfill this mandate and be more effective in its job.

Liboro emphasized the vital need to build trust in the digital world, saying it is a key concern where the DPOs can spell a difference.

“The ACE Program,” he said, “will align all of us in doing the right things right. Overall, the program aims to build privacy resilience and culture in whatever milieu you are living and working in,” he said.

Liboro emphasized the importance of observing data ethics, describing them as “the brakes we need now, at the same time noting the need for the DPOs to help the NPC in protecting data subjects.

“Who else will remind everyone that behind binary 1’s and zeroes are actual humna beings that could be adversely affected by unethical use (of data),” he said.

In the statement that reached SDN — Scitech and Digital News, the privacy agency recalled the latest McKinsey Report which said the cross-border data flow has swelled to more than 210 terabytes per second, which amount to 1.6 billion selfies a minute. DPO ACE Program - Science and Digital NewsThe ACE Program, he assured, fulfills the goal of the NPC of providing training for an entire generation of DPOs who are prepared to embrace ethical data processing.

He described the DPOs as the NPC’s representatives in their organizations while laying down to whose benefit the most.

For everyone’s benefit

“Ultimately, DPOs protect their organizations above all. It is in the interests of everyone — data subjects, the NPC, personal information controllers, and DPOs — that the processing of personal data is handled with clear lines of accountability, in compliance with the law, and in the most ethical way possible,” said Liboro.

There are three levels to the DPO ACE Program that passers may attain– ACE-1, ACE-2, and ACE-3 to be signaled by a certificate the reflects their skills level. The lessons cover case studies, practical, and written examinations.

The program is still in its pilot implementation but the NPC plans to offer it publicly to everyone interested starting in 2019 along with the other related programs. They will also be made available in the various regions.

Demand for DPOs, the agency said, is rising across the world because of the boom in the global technology industry.

It cited the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has estimated that the world needs an estimated 75,000 DPOs. They are most-sought after in industries that process large amounts of personal data, such as technology, finance, healthcare, retail, and digital marketing.

It can be recalled that the NPC has required every organization in the Philippines to appoint a DPO, or risk sanction. (EKU)

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