Miguel Lorenzo, a 20 year old student from Davao City, complained of receiving a text message from a hardware store he visited recently at a local mall. He said the hardware store is pushing a special promo for its products.
“Akala ko related sa Covid ang text. Yun pala magbebenta lang. Di ba bawal yun?,” he asked.
Such is the case that pushed the National Privacy Commission reminded businesses to stop using contact information they collected from customers using Covid-19 tracing forms to market their products and services.
NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro revealed Monday that they have received complaints from customers receiving text messages from establishment marketing their promos after the customers visited the establishments and filled up the contact tracing forms.
“Hindi niyo ho maaaring gamitin sa ibang paraan ‘yan. Kailangan liwanagin po ninyo sa mga mamamayan kung ito’y kinokolekta ninyo talaga para sa contact tracing,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
He reminded establishments to destroy contact tracing forms if these are unused after 30 days.
“Alam natin na gusto nating magkaroon ng kumpiyansa ang mga mamamayan sa ating ekonomiya para tuluyan tayong makabangon, pero hindi magkakaroon ng kumpiyansa ang mga mamamayan kung ‘pag pumasok sila ng isang restaurant o establisimyento e magagamit sa ibang paraan iyong datos na kanilang ibinigay,” Liboro added.
The official said the privacy commission will conduct a “privacy sweep” and is still accepting complaints against establishments that may have violated data privacy regulations.
Told about this, Lorenzo said he attempted to file a complaint to the NPC but was disheartened to know that the commission is asking that he notarize his complaint before the NPC takes action.
“Limited na nga ang movement dahil sa Covid. Limited na din ang resources dahil sa pandemic tapos ganito pa ang gustong ipagawa sa akin bago ako pakinggan sa reklamo ko,” he said.
He said the NPC should make it easier for citizens to lodge a complaint against an erring establishment similar to how the 8888 Hotline operates.
Lorenzo was referring to the the Citizens’ Complaint Hotline also known as the President’s Hotline. Established on August 1, 2016 by President Rodrigo Duterte, the hotline allows the public to report poor government front-line service delivery and corrupt practices in all government offices in the Philippines. Unlike the NPC, complaints sent to the hotline do not require the complainant to file a notarized complaint. Rommel F. Lopez