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DFA execs deny passport data breach

/ 05:31 AM January 22, 2019

Foreign affairs officials on Monday assured the National Privacy Commission (NPC) that no passport data breach had taken place in the department, contrary to the claim made by Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on his Twitter post on Jan. 9.

The personal data of all passport applicants remain under the control of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said Assistant Foreign Secretary Medardo Macaraig and Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Ferrer.

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“The [DFA] assured the [NPC] that it takes extremely seriously the protection of the personal information of the public and that all passport data is safe,” the officials said in a statement.

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“The department remains in custody and control of passport data and that this has not been shared with or accessed by any unauthorized party,” they added.

The DFA said it would “cooperate, especially with Congress, in any other investigation to be conducted on this issue.”

Macaraig, who is also DFA’s data protection officer, and Ferrer gave a presentation on the passport process, including measures to protect applicants’ data, to NPC officials.

Locsin touched off a controversy on Jan. 9 when he tweeted that a “previous outsourced passport maker took all the data.” He was replying to a complaint by a netizen about having to present his birth certificates to renew his passport. —Dona Z. Pazzibugan

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TAGS: Department of Foreign Affairs, DFA, Medardo Macaraig, Neil Ferrer, passport data loss, Teodro Locsin Jr.
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