By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Airline companies should release relevant passenger data to mandated authorities like the Department of Health to be able to respond to critical public health issue like the novel coronavirus (n-CoV), the National Privacy Commission (NPC) said.
“The Department of Health has the mandate, purpose and the necessity to collect and process personal data to uphold the public welfare. Therefore, nothing should prevent airline companies from releasing relevant passenger data to competent and mandated authorities like the Department of Health,” said NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro in a statement.
Liboro explained that The Data Privacy Act of 2012 is not meant to prevent the government from processing personal and sensitive personal information when necessary to fulfill their mandates.
Rather, it aims to protect the right to data privacy while ensuring free flow of information. What the DPA does is to promote fair, secure, and lawful processing of such information.
“We recognize that the passenger manifest to be disclosed with the pertinent government agencies may pose privacy risks to individuals.
While the Data Privacy Act 2012 will not stand as an obstacle to the fulfillment by public authorities of their constitutional and statutorily mandated functions, the DPA nonetheless serves as a reminder of the need for data protection in order to assure that rights of data subjects will be protected,” NPC said.