A passenger uses the electronic gate or e-gate at a Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal that can process a machine-readable passport within eight to 15 seconds while others form long lines to pass through immigration officers.
A passenger uses the electronic gate or e-gate at a Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal that can process a machine-readable passport within eight to 15 seconds while others form long lines to pass through immigration officers.
The STAR/Rudy Santos
Data privacy a right, stresses CHR amid DFA breach
(philstar.com) - January 14, 2019 - 2:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights reiterated the right to privacy under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the Department of Foreign Affairs faces a data breach.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier claimed that a contractor "ran away" with personal details of passport holders.

"CHR reiterates the importance of 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," CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.

The commission called on the Philippine government to identify accountabilities and determine all penalties under the law to preserve the rights of those who were affected by the incident.

The CHR also commended the National Privacy Commission for initiating an investigation into the passport data mess.

"The incident poses grave national security issues, especially since the said data contain sensitive, personal information of Filipino passport holders," De Guia said.

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., meanwhile, believes that Locsin may have been misinformed on his declaration that there was a data breach in the DFA.

In a television interview, Yasay said he does not think the contractor would have stolen the data from the government.

"The only reason, compelling reason I can see is because they wanted to deflect the real issue of the passport mess, which is awarding, the production of the passport from an end-to-end basis," Yasay told ANC's "Headstart".

Locsin, on the other hand, insisted that he was not misinformed but admitted that he may lack information on the contracts between the DFA and its contractors.

"My predecessors seem to be panicking. I don't know why," Locsin said on Twitter. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS DATA BREACH DATA PRIVACY ACT DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PASSPORT
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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