By PAOLA ESPIRITU
VIGAN CITY — In a document sent by the youth group Anakbayan Ilocos, the University of Northern Philippines has literally asked its students to waive their right to data privacy or defer from enrolling in the institution.
The document, with heading ‘Data Privacy and Protection Consent Form’, makes the enrollees acknowledge their “right to withheld (withhold) such consent” should they want to “but without any right to enroll.”
By affixing their signature, the students give the university the authority to collect their personal, sensitive and privileged information and use it as they see fit.
The waiver comes with the institutions’ ‘Data Privacy Protection Notice’ enumerating the “collection, processing and disclosure” of student’s information in compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
However, the notice, also posted on the UNP’s website, declares the school has the discretion “to change, amend or vary” the guidelines.
It further states UNP can disclose personal and sensitive students’ information “if and when necessary” to other individuals outside the university such as third party contractors, external professional advisors and auditors, and government departments and authorities.
In a statement written in Filipino, Jennybeth Mariano, Secrtary General of Anakbayan Ilocos, assailed the policy calling it “fascism in academic institutions.”
“UNP has a long record of violating the rights of its students, even giving sensitive information to armed state agents for the surveillance of student leaders,” she said.
The youth leader cited the incident where UNP released the addresses of Politically Inclined Students (POLIS) officers to the Philippine National Police. The students shared they were visited by the police and asked of their activities and affiliations. This took place after POLIS sponsored a forum on the peace negotiations. Members of the National Democratic Front panel attended the activity as resource persons.
“We believe this draconian policy is directed by the head of the campus security, Nolito Ragunjan, a former member of the AFP,” Mariano claimed.
She also pointed Ragunjan played a central role when members of the intelligence community monitored activist Sherwin De Vera, while working and studying post-graduate studies in the university.
“Fascism has no place in educational institution, we should unite and fight this outright violation of our civil liberties and human rights,” she ended.# nordis.net