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DFA: ‘All passport data are safe’

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday, January 21, said that “all passport data are safe” adding that the data had not been shared with or accessed by any unauthorized party.

DFA made the statement following a meeting between the foreign affairs department and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) regarding the recent issues related to passport data.

During the meeting, Data Protection Officer Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Medardo Macaraig, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Frank Ferrer, and other officials, made a full presentation on the passport process and assured the commission that measures are in place to protect the personal data of passport applicants in the entire ISO-certified process.

“The Department assured the Commission that it takes extremely seriously the protection of the personal information of the public and that all passport data is safe,” DFA said.

Earlier, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. revealed that the previous outsourced passport maker ran away and did not turn over the previously acquired data back to the government when their contract was terminated.

“We are rebuilding our files from scratch because previous outsourced passport maker took all the data when contract (was) terminated,” Locsin said on his personal Twitter account.

“Because previous contractor got pissed when terminated it made off with data. We did nothing about it or couldn’t because we were in the wrong. It won’t happen again. Passports pose national security issues and cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state,” he said in another post.

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