National ID system should adhere to 'basic security measures': BAP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2020 04:36 PM

MANILA - The Bankers Association of the Philippines said Tuesday the national ID system should adhere to basic security measures to prevent cyber threats and data leaks. 

The Philippine Statistics Authority has started collecting data for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), which aims to push financial inclusivity, last Oct. 12.

BAP's Data Exchange managing director Yoyong Santos said the agency was "optimistic" of the national ID rollout and that they met with the PSA early this year to discuss the security framework and design.

PhilSys is using the Mosip framework, which helps governments implement digital ID systems, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, Santos said.

Effective implementation, however, remains to be seen, he said.

“We are actually optimistic that the PSA and its roll out will adhere to the basic security measures...If they adhere to the standards of Mosip, we can be sure data privacy will be ensured. But that remains to be seen, it all depends on the implementation," Santos said.

Some sectors flagged data privacy concerns including fears that PhilSys data can be used for surveillance. A balance between privacy and functionality should be achieved in handing data, he said.

"It is a spectrum that has to be treaded carefully. If you are too strict, it becomes useless, too loose it becomes dangerous. The key concept really is, the person’s data should not be shared with anyone without his explicit consent. The way PhilSys makes that happen, if I do not give you my thumbprint, you cannot share my data," Santos said.

Santos agreed that a successful and effective national ID system would pave the way for financial inclusion in the country and give the unbanked access to services.

The National Economic and Development Authority earlier said it was backing the hastened rollout of the national ID system since it could be used to distribute aid faster in times of crisis.

-- with a report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News