February 14, 2012
TWIN ICT BILLS WILL SECURE ONLINE DATA,
Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for the swift enactment of two ICT-related measures for the protection of sensitive information and data found online, especially those of Filipino users.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, filed and sponsored the Cybercrime Prevention Act (SBN 2796), which was recently approved by the Senate, and the Data Privacy Act (SBN 2965), which is still pending upon Second Reading.
During interpellations for the Data Privacy Act, Angara explained "[The] Cybercrime [Prevention Act] is a law that defines and enumerates what will amount to a crime committed through the Internet or the use of a computer. What the Data Privacy [Act] implies is that we will protect any information and any flow of data that a person may provide to IT operators."
The Cybercrime Prevention Act proposes a legal framework for the detection, investigation, prosecution and apprehension of such Internet-related crimes as hacking, identity theft, cybersquatting and spamming.
The Data Privacy Act, on the other hand, establishes regulations at par with standards prescribed by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Information Privacy Framework. Once enacted, the measure will mandate public and private entities operating in the country to comply with international data security standards, a move that will make the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry more attractive to investors.
"While we make sure data breaches are criminalized and penalized accordingly, we also lay down the basis for companies to be responsible in maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of digital data," said Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE). "In a way, these two bills can serve as the bookends for a comprehensive national policy for cybersecurity."
The veteran lawmaker added, "By establishing such a policy framework, we actually protect Internet freedoms while making sure the Web remains safe. In this way, we reduce the risk for true harm to be inflicted and heighten the opportunity for our digital space to be a truly productive and collaborative venue."
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