Robredo expresses concern over stolen passport data, wants case filed vs contractor
Vice President Leni Robredo said she wants the government to hold the former passport maker be accountable for stealing the public's data.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, file

Robredo expresses concern over stolen passport data, wants case filed vs contractor

( - January 13, 2019 - 5:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday expressed concern over the data breach that hit the Department of Foreign Affairs.

In her weekly radio news program, Robredo said the news that the former ousourced passport maker “took all the data” of Filipino passport holders was “scary.”

“Nakakagimbal iyon, at saka nakakatakot (That’s shocking and frightening),” Robredo said on “BISERbisyong LEni.”

She is calling on the government to take action against the former contractor who ran off with the public’s data.

Robredo said she agrees with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon to compel the former contractor to return the data by filing a case against them.

On Friday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. disclosed on Twitter that the department is “rebuilding” its files “from scratch” after the previous contractor “took all the data when [its] contract [was] terminated.”

Locsin said his agency could not do anything about it because “they are in the wrong.” He, however, vowed that the incident would never happen again.

Despite this, the National Privacy Commission said it would investigate the claim of Locsin.

READ: Privacy body to probe passport data mess

— Rosette Adel

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 15, 2019 - 6:00pm

The National Privacy Commission says it will conduct an investigation on the Department of Foreign Affairs' assertion that a former contractor has taken "all the data." 

"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 says.

"We will summon the DFA and concerned agencies including the alleged contractor to determine the facts surrounding the case," it adds.

January 15, 2019 - 6:00pm

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. says the Department of Foreign Affairs is for now taking the word of APO Production Unit that there is no breach in passport data which he says is sufficient justification in removing the birth certificate requirement in the renewal of passports.

In a statement sent to media, Locsin says only a Senate investigation will assure the public that there was no breach or loss of data. Until then, DFA can give no assurances on the safety and security of some data.

January 14, 2019 - 1:09pm

Sen. Nancy Binay calls for a review by the Office of the Solicitor General of all government contacts with third-party providers in response to issues with passport data disclosed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. over the weekend.

"We need to step up our standards when it comes to data protection and security lalo na't ang may hawak ng data management ay third-party contractors. We need to know which agencies are prone to data hostaging para di na maulit ang nangyari noon sa [Land Transportation Office] at [National Bureau of Investigation] where there was a stoppage of operations, and vital public services were affected," she says in a statement.

In a related statement, the Commisison on Human Rights urges the government to identify accountabilities in the supposed data breach, saying it is important to uphold "the right to privacy in preserving human dignity as stated in various human rights documents, including the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Data Privacy Act of 2012."

It adds the passport data mess "poses grave national security issues, especially since the said data contain sensitive, personal information of Filipino passport holders."

January 14, 2019 - 8:22am

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. says on ANC's "Hot Copy" that he does not believe the previous sub-contractor for Philippine passports stole passport data.

He says Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. may be misinformed about the supposed data breach.

His predecessor, Albert del Rosario, in a statement, has said he respects Locsin's judgment and declined comment on the issue. He has also expressed confidence that Locsin will resolve the issue soon.

January 13, 2019 - 3:18pm

Vice President Leni Robredo urges the government to take action on the stolen passport data.

Robredo says the incident is scary as she joins the call to file charges against the outsourced passport maker. 

The National Privacy Commission said it would investigate the matter.

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