DepEd prohibits posting of images and personal data of learners on social media without parental consent

DepEd prohibits posting of images and personal data of learners on social media without parental consent

In a memorandum dated May 15, 2024, issued by Atty. Rensee A. Escobedo, Undersecretary for Operations, the Department of Education (DepEd) stressed the critical need to protect learners' privacy by strictly prohibiting the posting of their images or data on social media without parental consent. This directive, outlined in Memo No. OM-OUOPS-2024-6F.03142, aligns with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Data Privacy Act of 2012, reinforcing DepEd's zero-tolerance policy for any form of abuse, exploitation, or privacy violations.

DepEd has reiterated the importance of safeguarding learners' privacy in the digital age. Emphasizing the prohibition against posting learners' images or data on social media without parental consent, this measure is consistent with the UNCRC and the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012, or the "Child Protection Policy," along with Republic Act No. 10173 (Data Privacy Act of 2012), underscore the necessity of obtaining consent. As minors, learners require parental or guardian consent before their data can be used for media postings. Additionally, learners must be informed about how their personal information will be utilized and protected.

Posting images of learners, even with good intentions such as during award ceremonies or other school events, poses risks to their privacy and safety. DepEd Order No. 32, s. 2022, recognizes learners as individuals with rights and obligations, necessitating their affirmative consent for any media postings..

The practice of schools posting learners' sensitive data, profle or information such as complete name, grade level, and section on social media during school openings puts learners at significant risk. Such information can be used by malicious individuals for identity theft, cyberbullying, or other forms of exploitation. Protecting this information is crucial to ensuring learners' safety and privacy.

The memorandum reminds all school personnel of their responsibility to protect learners' rights. It highlights the requirement for consent under the Cybercrime Prevention Act to avoid legal consequences and ensure respect for data privacy.

Attached to the memorandum is the DepEd's Consent, Waiver, Indemnity, and Release form, which must be filled out by learners' parents or guardians for any media posting. This form ensures compliance with the Rights-Based Education (RBE) approach, emphasizing consultation with learners on matters affecting them..

All school personnel are directed to adhere strictly to these guidelines.

For further details, you can read the full memorandum and sample of parents consent [here].

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