Mapúa University hosted “A Forum on Data Privacy and Responsible Data Sharing for Advanced Transportation Research,” an unprecedented gathering of transportation and information professionals in the Philippines, from both the government and private sector, at the Yuchengco Innovation Center last September 20, 2018.
The event was organized by the Transportation Operations and Management Assessment System (TOMAS) Laboratory, headed by Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy, dean of Mapúa’s School of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering.
“According to the latest JICA study, the Philippines loses at least 3.5 billion pesos daily due to traffic congestion. There is an urgent need for universities, private sector, and the government to come together to solve the transportation crisis, compliant with the regulations of the Data Privacy Act of 2012,” said Dr. Uy.
The TOMAS Lab is part of the Data Analytics for Research and Education (DARE) Program, which is sponsored by the Commission on Higher Education – Philippine–California Advanced Research Institutes (CHED PCARI). The TOMAS Lab is implementing Project 1, which is Technical Design and System Deployment of the Data Analytics for Research and Education (DARE) Program.
“The Role of TOMAS Lab is to work on advanced research projects that shall enable us to benefit from new and emerging technologies to solve the more complex problems of today and the future society particularly in transportation,” said Dr. Uy. “Our group is using data analytics, image processing, and sensor technologies in providing solutions to a variety of transportation problems.”
The forum hosted representatives from Globe Telecom, Grab Philippines, the Department of Transportation (DoTr), CHED, the National Privacy Commission (NPC), the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP), and representatives from the Pasig City government. Representatives from the National Institute of Physics and National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the University of California Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies (UCB-ITS), and CHED PCARI DARE personnel from Mapúa University were also present in the forum. The Data Privacy Team and personnel from other Mapúa research projects also attended the event.
Five talks were given in the forum. Dr. Larry Vea of Mapúa University and Dr. Gabriel Gomes of UCB-ITS gave an overview of the DARE Program for transportation research, particularly the role of user data in assessing and optimizing transportation. Dr. Marian Panganiban of Grab shared some ways on how big data are used to improve transportation services locally, as well as in other countries like Malaysia and Singapore. Atty. Vida Bocar of NPC introduced the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and explained the options available to researchers that would still protect the privacy and personal information of individuals. Mr. Eldon John Dionisio of DoTr shed some light on the modernization of the public transportation system, including accessibility of data from electronic vehicles for research and policy. Mr. Samuel Jacoba of NADPOP also encouraged the audience to establish data protection teams to empower their employees and protect them from data breach.
“With the implementation of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, both private and public sectors are required to comply with the provisions of such law in utilizing personal data in research projects for improvements in transportation,” said Atty. Denise Arenillo, Data Protection Officer of Mapúa.
With the forum, Mapúa’s TOMAS Lab aims to help in enabling private companies and government agencies to work together to improve the country’s transportation system and the overall quality of life of Filipinos.
“It is our intention at Mapúa to make the CHED PCARI DARE research program a model for Philippines in responsible data sharing and data privacy compliance in pursuit of advanced research by undertaking a Privacy Impact Assessment. This indeed will be a major outcome in our project,” added Dr. Uy.