Employee Data Privacy

Republic of the Philippines - Cross-Border Data Transfer

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Are there any restrictions on transferring personal data and how can these be overcome?

Cross-border data transfers affect all organizations that engage online IT services, cloud-based services, remote access services and global HR databases. Understanding the applications of lawful data transfer mechanisms is essential to validate recipients located in other nations.

Employers and other personal information controllers (PICs) in the Philippines are responsible for protecting the personal information that they transfer to third parties for processing. Transferring data to third parties, whether locally or internationally, requires contractual or other reasonable means to ensure an equivalent level of data protection.

Cross-border data sharing, even to an affiliate or mother company, requires the consent of the employee (the data subject). Some companies, in obtaining the consent of the employee at the start of employment, already indicate the other specific purpose/s which may arise thereafter.

Prior to the cross-border data transfer, employees must be notified of: the identity of the PIC or Processor who will be given access to the data; the purpose of data sharing; categories of data that will be shared; intended recipients; and, the rights of the data subjects.

HR Best Practices: The use of applications in the cloud frequently results in the international transfer of employee data. Obtain consent in advance, for all personal data that will be stored in the cloud or transferred outside of the Philippines. Personal data should only be transferred when an adequate level of protection is ensured and contractual or other reasonable agreements are put in place.


Led by PeopleDoc’s Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, the HR Compliance Assist team relies on a network of internal and external compliance experts and lawyers, including the global law firm Morgan Lewis, to provide clients with best practices and recommendations on topics such as HR document retention, employee data privacy, and HR electronic records. HR Compliance Assist also provides local compliance monitoring and alert services in select countries where PeopleDoc’s customers have employees. HR Compliance Assist is a service exclusively available to PeopleDoc customers.

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