Data Privacy Act seen increasing global BPO position of PH

June 28, 2017 at 15:25

Data Privacy Act seen increasing global BPO position of PH

By Irma Isip | June 28, 2017
The Data Privacy Act of 2012 will significantly increase the position of the Philippines as one of the world’s most preferred destinations for business process outsourcing (BPO), according to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).

“With the creation of the Act, all BPO firms in the country are now mandated to ensure protection to personal data resulting to an increase in foreign investors’ confidence in growing their outsourcing requirements in the country,” said Espie Bulseco, Learning Series Task Force lead of the CCAP Security Council and senior director for Business Excellence at Hinduja Global Solutions.

Bulseco added Republic Act 10173 will also increase the country’s capability to handle outsourcing requirements of countries with their own data privacy laws since they have specific restrictions in transferring their residents’ data outside their region unless the outsourced provider is located in a country with existing data privacy laws.

“Overall, the Data Privacy Act of 2012 will increase the number of foreign investors leading to an increase in our position as a leading BPO destination,” Bulseco said.

CCAP said the BPO industry in the Philippines is taking steps to ensure compliance with cyber security and data privacy regulations.

Tonichi Achurra-Parekh, CCAP board director and trustee for CCAP Security Council, said the association has come up with several measures to update the industry on issues related to data privacy, cyber security and governance.

One of these measures includes organizing one of the biggest data privacy summits in Asia, the Data Privacy Asia 2017, to be held on July 20, 2017 at Makati Shangri-La Manila.

“The industry has been playing an active role in educating our members through forums as well as answering data privacy-related issues in some of our conferences. The summit is in response to that growing need to educate and also accelerate our expertise in our industry,” Achurra-Parekh said.

Aside from education initiatives, Achurra-Parekh said CCAP is also working closely with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) through its head, chairman Raymond Liboro, to support, align and roll out programs relevant to the industry.

On data privacy best practices, Achurra-Parekh said the Philippines naturally looks to the United States since most clients of BPO companies in the country are US based.

But because of the country’s proximity to countries in Asia like Singapore with its strong data privacy structure, there is the opportunity to compare and trade notes.

BPO companies also get information and learn best practices from companies in other countries outside of the US like Australia and the United Kingdom.

CCAP has been briefed of the NPC’s short- and long-term projects and is positioned to continue supporting them by implementing the guidelines and requirements the agency already started.

Bulseco said BPO companies, like all Philippine organizations, are required to comply with the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and have a timeline for compliance, where they are required to register with the NPC on or before Sept. 9, 2017, or one year from the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

Jojo Uligan, CCAP president, said the Data Privacy Summit’s objective is for the Philippines to be “best-in-class” in implementing guidelines and proactively advancing means to uphold data protection and privacy, since BPO workers hold and process millions of data as a way of life.

“Part of the objective is to communicate the trends and the threat landscape on cybersecurity when processing millions of data, and to establish the Philippines as a country with advanced data protection and privacy regulations to address these threats, ultimately to make the world entrust their business data with us,” Uligan said.

He added the summit will focus on understanding what is to be done now and to secure the future by bringing in the global perspectives of international experts to discuss best practices and collaborate to find the most creative solutions to evolving data protection and cybersecurity-related issues.


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