LGUs cautioned vs posting of info on SAP beneficiaries

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    The National Privacy Commission (NPC) yesterday cautioned local government units (LGUs) against posting sensitive personal information of their constituents in social media sites in relation to the distribution of cash assistance.

    Rohen Chin, chief of the NPC Public Information and Assistance, saidat least six LGUs were monitored to have posted in their Facebook pages the complete addresses, age, and even disabilities of beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

    Chin said making personal data public may be used by unscrupulous individuals while disclosing SAP beneficiaries’ disabilities is not necessary.

    She added NPC has been contacting these LGUs to either take down or redact the irrelevant information but noted the LGUs should be able to justify why the need to disclose personal data.

    While the Data Privacy Act does not prohibit LGUs to disclose information which it deems essential for the public to know in the name of transparency, NPC said LGUs should be mindful of its concomitant responsibilities as personal information controllers

    Chin said the NPC has the power to issue a cease and desist order against the LGUs and stop them from processing data. NPC also has takedown powers, she said.

    If LGUs still fail to comply, officials can be charged with contempt and NPC can proceed to file a case for unathorized processing, malicious disclosure and violation of proportionality.

    Chin said an individual may also file a complaint to NPC after exhausting all options for the LGUs to remove their personal data.