CHR seeking penalties in passport data mess
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday urged the government to identify and impose penalties against those behind the passport data mess at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia stressed the importance of the data privacy act following the supposed data breach in the department.
“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,” De Guia said in a statement.
“To this end, we urge the government to identify accountabilities and determine all applicable penalties, as determined by our laws, in preserving the rights of all concerned and in the interest of national security.” she added.
DFA Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. recently revealed that an outsourced passport maker took with it all passport applicants’ data after its contract was terminated.
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., however, said that no data was stolen. Instead, the data of passport applicants could not be transferred due to technology issues.
The National Privacy Commission (NPC) already announced that it would conduct a investigation on the matter.
“The Commission on Human Rights lauds the National Privacy Commission for continuing its mandate to uphold every Filipino’s right to privacy as they conduct a probe on the recent passport data breach at the Department of Foreign Affairs,” she said.
“The incident poses grave national security issues, especially since the said data contain sensitive, personal information of Filipino passport holders,” she added./gsg
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