So sue us over hacking–Bautista
COMMISSION on Elections Chair Andres Bautista on Sunday said he was ready to face any case, even impeachment, in connection with the massive leak of 55 million voters’ personal information from the Comelec database earlier this month.
“We are prepared for any case that may be brought against us. Personally, hindi naman ako kapit tuko sa posisyon (I am not clinging to my position). Our job here is difficult and we are doing our best to have credible elections on May 9,” Bautista said in an interview over dzBB.
Bautista said the system that ran the public information website of the poll body had been established long before he assumed the position of Comelec chair in May last year.
“We have an information technology department and consultants,” he said.
For her part, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said she understood the sentiments of the people and she respected their right to file complaints based on law and the Constitution.
“More security precautions should have been taken even in a website with a publicly available information,” said Guanzon in a separate interview over the same station.
On Friday, election watchdog Kontra Daya said it was consulting with lawyers to see if it could bring a case against the Comelec for violation of the Data Privacy Act.
The group said the leaked information could be used in poll fraud.
Information technology experts said it exposed registered voters to identity theft, credit card fraud and faked ID cards, among other risks.
How did it happen?
Bautista said the poll body would issue a report on the results of the internal investigation it conducted on how the leak happened and who should be held accountable for it.
“We will come out with a report on the findings of the investigation and should someone be found liable, we will make sure they will be held responsible. If people would want to file a case against us, that is their right,” said the Comelec chief.
He said the internal investigation should also be able to answer some of their questions, among them: Why was the website hosted by a private service provider and not by the Department of Science and Technology? What were the initial safeguards put in place and how did the hackers breach security?
The Comelec officials also reassured the public the hacking of the website would not compromise the automated election system as the latter would use different servers and computers.
“The computers and security programs that would be used in the automated election system are very sophisticated,” said Guanzon.
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