Maria Cecilia Soria is a Philippines-licensed lawyer, with core practice in Data Privacy Law. She was one of the first data privacy professionals in the Philippines, when she started her consulting practice in 2017.
She holds a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and is currently Head for Regulatory and Case Management of the PLDT Group's Data Privacy Office.
Bachelor of Laws, University of the Philippines College of Law
BA Political Science, University of the Philippines, Diliman
Data Privacy Lawyer and Consultant 2017-2018
Legal Counsel, Sun Life Financial - 2013-2017
Consultant, Foundation for Media Alternatives - 2017
Consultant, HealthJustice, Inc. - 2017
Senior Associate, Tan Venturanza Valdez Law Office - 2010-2013
Senior Associate, SGV & Co. - Ernst & Young - 2008
Associate, Medialdea Ata Bello & Guevarra Law Office - 2007
Since putting up her Data Privacy practice, Cecilia has been helping top Philippine corporations in putting up their privacy management programs. She has spoken on data privacy at several conferences, such as the 2017 Philippine Data Privacy Forum of Asian Legal Business and PH TestCon 2017. She developed and offers the “Data Privacy Bootcamp,” a training program that equips teams working in data privacy with the knowledge on the compliance requirements and the framework to execute this knowledge within their organization.
Cecilia graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2006. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Cecille honed her skills in the practice of law as a member of the following law offices: Medialdea Ata Bello and Guevarra Law Offices; SGV & Co. - An Ernst & Young member firm; and Tan Venturanza Valdez Law Offices.
She has taken companies public, as well as established mutual funds. She served as Corporate Secretary and Assistant Corporate Secretary of various publicly-listed and public companies, including the country's largest non-bank remittance company as well as one of the fastest-growing thrift banks in the Philippines. Most recently, she served as Assistant Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel to the Philippines' oldest and best-performing insurance company. From 2013 to 2017, Cecille was part of the digital transformation team of one of the biggest companies in the country.
Since 2012, Cecille has been engaged in advancing the freedoms guaranteed under the Bill of Rights in cyberspace. She was a founding member of Democracy.Net.PH, the group that drafted the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom. The bill was adopted and filed in the Senate by no less than Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Her digital rights advocacy has taken her from the halls of Congress to international forums. Cecille spoke at the 2015 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil on digital rights. In 2016, Cecille was part of the delegation of the American Bar Association - Rule of Law Initiative to the 2016 IGF in Mexico. Most recently, Cecille was part of the 2018 Citizen Lab Summer Institute on Monitoring Internet Openness and Rights, a series of intensive research workshops hosted annually at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.