Dismissing data breach shows Comelec insincerity on polls
An election watchdog hit the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for its continued dismissal of the effects of the alleged data breach following the defacement of its website by hackers last March.
In a statement, Kontradaya convenor Rick Bahague said that by shrugging off the detrimental repercussions of the data breach, which allegedly made public the contact information, complete address, passport number, and fingerprint information of 55 million registered voters, the Comelec has shown that it is insincere in its mandate to hold credible elections in May.
“Comelec’s disregard of the necessary safeguards for the automated election system and the downplaying of the voters’ information leak sharply reflects the Commission’s insincerity in conducting credible, accurate, peaceful and transparent elections come May 9,” Bahague said on Wednesday.
Bahague also warned that the leaked voter information can be used to commit electoral fraud and other illegal acts, such as targeted intimidation, vote buying, and harassment.
He also hit the poll body for supposedly dismissing the grave effects of the data breach on the privacy of voters.
“It is amazing that a commission full of lawyers cannot understand and comprehend that privacy is a basic human right and that the data leak is a violation of every voter’s right to it. Only a commission or department with little value for privacy and data integrity will trivialize this situation. The Comelec should be held liable for this incompetence,” he said.
On March 27, the Comelec website was defaced consecutively by Anonymous Philippines and LulzSec Pilipinas.
One of the suspects for the defacement of the website was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday. The suspect, a 23-year-old information technology graduate, has admitted to the crime.
NBI Cybercrime Division chief Ronald Aguto said that they are still looking for two other hackers who are part of the group responsible for defacing the website.
On its part, the Comelec has allayed fears that sensitive biometrics data were leaked. The poll body said that the hacking would not compromise the election results. JE
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