COVID-19 Legal Briefing: Focus on TMT
May 05, 2020
SyCipLaw’s TMT group prepared a legal briefing that touches on Philippine issues in TMT triggered by the global pandemic.
The legal briefing covers the following topics, among others:
A. Data Privacy vs. Public Health? The need to do contact tracing and protect public health has created some tension between insistence on individuals’ right to privacy and calls to disclose personal information to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Philippine National Privacy Commission (NPC), the agency tasked to administer the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (the country’s general data privacy statute) believes that existing laws are already adequate and does not think there is a material gap between these interests.
B. Data Privacy from Home? With the strict home quarantine being imposed on Metro Manila (as well as the rest of Luzon Island), some enterprises that can continue to operate have found themselves struggling to implement work-from-home arrangements (WFH). Companies that heavily rely on communications and technology like BPOs and are thought to be better equipped at implementing WFH have also not been spared. They face the additional challenge of complying with data privacy requirements under both law and their existing contracts.
C. Philippine Legal Issues for Telemedicine On 28 March 2020, the DOH and NPC issued Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2020-0001 (JMC No. 2020-0001) setting out these guidelines, which include (i) requiring telemedicine services to adhere to the standards of the practice of medicine and health privacy under applicable laws, (ii) promoting the use of electronic documents in providing health services, (iii) prescribing coordination between telemedicine partners and healthcare providers, and (iv) ensuring that emergencies and serious conditions are not managed via telemedicine.
The view full text of the bulletin, please click here.
The bulletin was prepared by SyCipLaw partners Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez and John Paul V. De Leon, with the assistance of senior associate Efren Dominique M. Chatto II, and associates Nikko Emmanuel D. Silva and Bianca Danica S. Villarama.
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