Comelec's Garcia vows to strengthen data privacy measures in elections | Inquirer News

Comelec’s Garcia vows to strengthen data privacy measures in elections

/ 07:29 PM January 21, 2023

Comelec data security

Comelec chairman George Erwin Garcia speaks before reporters in a registration center in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. Eric Mendoza

ZAMBOANGA City, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman George Erwin Garcia on Saturday vowed to strengthen data privacy measures in elections after the National Privacy Commission (NPC) cleared the poll body and its election software partner Smartmatic of alleged data privacy violations.

READ: NPC dismisses case accusing Comelec, Smartmatic of data privacy violations

Garcia said that while the Comelec is welcoming the NPC’s decision, the poll body is committed to strengthen measures to protect data privacy.


“Siyempre po nakakatuwa naman po yung ganyan na ang Comelec ay sinasabing walang kasalanan sa tinatawag na breach ng data privacy subalit hindi po sapat na kami po ay napatunayang walang kasalanan o abswelto sa kaso na ganon,” Garcia said in a chance interview with reporters in Bongao, Tawi-tawi.


(Of course we are glad that they found that the Comelec was not at fault in the alleged breach of data privacy. But it is not enough that we were found not liable or was acquitted in that case.)

“Dapat po obligasyon ng Comelec na patuloy na paigtingin yun pong aming seguridad lalong lalo na when it comes to data privacy,” he added.

(It is the responsibility of Comelec to boost security measures especially on data privacy.)

“Tatandaan po ng lahat, pinapanindigan ng Comelec na kinakailangan naming protektahan ang mga datos na inyong binibigay. Pinagkatiwala niyo po sa amin yan hindi pepwede po kaming basta basta na lamang mapunta yan sa kamay ng kung sino sino,” he continued.

(Everyone should remember that the Comelec is committed to protect the privacy of your data. You have trusted us with your data. We will not allow it to end up in somebody else’s hands.)

The NPC, through a decision dated September 22, found Comelec and smartmatic  “not liable” for Concealment of Security Breaches Involving Sensitive Personal Information under Section 30 of the Data Privacy Act.


The privacy commission also ruled that no breach occurred in Smartmatic’s servers concerning the list of overseas voters.


Comelec to review contract with Smartmatic amid security breach allegations

Smartmatic assures ‘2022 PH elections are 100% safe and secure’

NBI: Ex-employee of Smartmatic admitted ‘deal’ in systems breach

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TAGS: Comelec, data privacy, Elections

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