NPC warns data collection for financial aids

Published April 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said government agencies should only collect minimum information from beneficiaries of financial aid and relief packages even as it supports the national government to provide much-needed assistance to the people in these extraordinary times.

This was stressed by the privacy authority as government agencies and local government units are now distributing financial assistance and relief goods to the masses.

“We remind all government offices, including local government units, to further ease the people’s burden by exercising proportionality and collecting less of their data to facilitate such assistance,” said the NPC statement.

“Collect only necessary personal details, such as those required according to usual accounting, auditing, and budgeting rules and regulations when disbursing public funds, as well as other applicable laws and regulations.”

Aside from the personal privacy issue, NPC also said authorities should avoid burdening recipients with personal data requirements that are beyond the minimum necessary, which would only impede the speedy flow of aid distribution in this time of urgency.

In addition, NPC reminded that all collected personal data must be safeguarded to prevent any unauthorized access and use. Appropriate retention and disposal policies should also be in place. Collect to meet present objectives and discard any notion of possible future use of the data.

NPC also said that employers that the need to obtain consent from concerned affected workers is not required under the present emergency when submitting requirements to government regulatory agencies mandated to distribute aid to these workers.

“It is during these trying times that the data protection officers of companies are needed to provide timely and sensible advice to their management, considering all attendant circumstances and mindful of the rights and interests of the affected workers,” said NPC.

 
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