THE National Privacy Commission (NPC) said it will be rolling out a voluntary certification scheme to monitor companies’ compliance with international privacy standards.

Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said that companies’ data privacy representatives should invest in earning certifications and seals of approval from the commission.

The NPC in a statement Monday said it will soon roll out the certification program, including a “privacy mark” aimed at helping companies build up their reputations for protecting privacy.

“An incentive for your companies is recognition for excellence for achieving a higher level of accountability,” Mr. Liboro said.

The NPC said certifications for compliance with APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) cross-border privacy rules would also give firms a pathway to global markets.

“We want our companies to capitalize on this momentum by expanding their data-driven services to cross-border transactions,” Mr. Liboro said.

“NPC is partnering with bilateral, regional, and international organizations for global data transfer mechanisms to ensure the free and secure flow of data from and into the Philippines.”

Inclusion in the cross-border system would allow companies to transfer data to other certified companies operating in the region under a single system, reducing data transfer costs associated with complying with varying international privacy rules.

The NPC throughout the lockdowns issued warnings against potential data privacy breaches. The commission reminded businesses to ensure data protection for individuals submitting contact tracing forms and teachers to refrain from posting on social media any clips collected from online classrooms.

The commission last year flagged “dismal” privacy standards in the health sector, particularly its management of contact tracing during the pandemic. — Jenina P. Ibañez