National Privacy Commission to probe DFA passport data mess

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 12 2019 06:16 PM | Updated as of Jan 12 2019 06:31 PM

MANILA - The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said Saturday it would investigate the Department of Foreign Affairs' (DFA) revelation that a former passport production contractor "made off with data" of Filipinos.

The NPC said it would summon DFA officials and the alleged passport contractor, the privacy agency said in a statement.

"Any form of non-availability of personal data, infringement of the rights of data subjects, and harms from processing that include inconveniencing the public, must be adequately explained to the satisfaction of the law," the NPC said.

This comes after Foreign Affairs Chief Teodoro Locsin Jr. revealed that a passport production contractor the government had terminated "made off with data."

Locsin Jr. added that the DFA needs to "rebuild" its database for passports issued after 2009 because a "previous outsourced passport maker took all the data when contract terminated."

Responding to a netizen's query on data protection, Locsin said he does not know whether personal information taken by the supposed passport contractor were safe.

"How can we be sure? I don't know," Locsin said.

"Why you guys who understand data acquisition and protection should keep up the attacks," he added.