#Privacy: Philippines privacy commission approves employee monitoring software

The Philippines National Privacy Commission (NPC) will now allow companies to install monitoring software in company-issued devices to monitor work-from-home employees. 

The NPC clarified that the monitoring must adhere to the provisions of the Data Privacy Act (DPA), ensuring that the rights and freedom of staff remain protected. 

The NPC adds that employers must notify their employees that they are being monitored and why it is necessary, and should conduct a privacy impact assessment of the monitoring software to determine potential risks and ways to mitigate them. 

Other obligations the NPC details:

  • Having clear guidelines on monitoring procedures. 
  • Provide proper ICT equipment, support facilities and mechanisms to the employees, to ensure that personal data processing systems being used are secured. 
  • Excessive and disproportionate mechanisms in monitoring are discouraged, such as recording keystrokes, taking random photos of the computer screen, tracking mouse movements, etc. 
  • Employers can not require staff to stay on video during office hours, or overtime work. 

 

“We expect employers, whether in the government or the private sector, to process personal data responsibly and with accountability in order to address existing health threats brought by COVID-19,” said Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro.

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