DFA claims 'full control' of Filipinos' passport data

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2019 02:44 PM

MANILA- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) insisted Monday that it has "full control" of Filipinos' passport data, denying reports of a data breach.

“The DFA remains in full control and custody of passport data and that data has not been shared or accessed by any unauthorized party," DFA Asec. Elmer Cato told ABS-CBN News.

While the DFA remains open to an investigation on allegations of a data breach, Cato insisted that "the integrity of the Philippine passport is very much intact.”

Cato's remarks however go against Foreign Affairs Chief Teodoro Locsin Jr.'s earlier remarks that the agency has yet to look on how much passport data "was lost."

"We will see how much was lost. There will be forensic analysis. Pero for sure, mayroong nawala (but for sure, something was lost)," Locsin told radio DZMM last week.

Concerns over the security of Filipinos' passport data were raised after Locsin claimed that an outsourced passport maker "took all the data" when its contract terminated.

Locsin added that the incident forced the DFA to "rebuild" its database for passports issued before 2010. 

The National Privacy Commission meanwhile remains firm in conducting a full-blown investigation into the matter to see whether a data breach did occur.

NPC lawyer Lorraine Ann Quibranza said the privacy body “is investigating every possible avenue related to the data privacy act.”

“During the meeting, the DFA has assured there is no breach but we cannot confirm their assurance because we are still in the process of investigating,” Quibranza said. -report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News