Last 21 February 2018, some UP ISSI staff, information officers, college secretaries, and other UP personalities attended a whole-day seminar entitled UP Diliman Data Privacy Workshop 2018 at Room 301, UP ISSI, UP Diliman.
The seminar was the first of its kind and was organized by the Data Protection Office headed by Atty. Elson B. Manahan, the University’s Data Protection Officer, as well as the members of the Data Protection Team which included Atty. Rachel A. Locsin. The seminar focused on the importance of data privacy in the workplace, the need for information security, and the required documents to comply with the requirements of the country’s National Privacy Commission (NPC).
The first half of the seminar was composed of two talks. Atty. Manahan delivered the talk on Data Privacy Laws and Regulations, defining key terms such as data privacy, personal information and its types, and explaining the purpose and benefits of data privacy in the workplace. During the question and answer portion for this talk, Ms. Eimee Rhea C. Lagrama of the UP Main Library shared her concern regarding the University Archives’ initiative of open access, specifically with the digitization of students’ theses which contain personal information from the biodata included in a large number of the said material. Ms. Lagrama also suggested that information officers and the Data Protection Team collaborate with records managers in order to find common ground which provides students and employees security of their personal information while still exercising user’s freedom to information. The second talk was on Information Security for Data Privacy, delivered by Mr. Peter John A. Francisco, which focused on the risks institutions may face if they do not continually check and upgrade their security systems and train their employees, as well as practices to ensure the safety of their information.
The second half of the seminar was a workshop on satisfying the requirements of the National Privacy Commission. Atty. Manahan gave a brief discussion on the specific requirements all offices in the university must provide in order to be certified by the NPC. After this, participants were asked to fill out forms concerning the files and databases used by their offices which may contain any sort of personal information, which was then collected by the Data Protection Team in order to collate the responses to ensure the university’s certification from the NPC. Atty. Manahan, along with his team, also suggested that the different offices assign their own information officers to act as liaisons and ensure that their respective offices are complying with the rules and regulations indicated in R.A. 10173 (Data Privacy Act of 2012).
The workshop proved to be an effective method of informing the participants the importance of data privacy and information security, especially now when information has become both powerful and easily accessible through the advancement of technology. It also provided the participants the opportunity to voice out their own concerns regarding their files and how to properly process them.
*Julia D. Ibañez is an ISSI intern from UP School of Library and Information Studies.
With inputs from Roy D. Apacible