Passport data loss prompts probe

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The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said Saturday it will conduct an investigation on the alleged loss of passport applicants’ data by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) after the agency terminated the contract of its passport maker.

“The NPC shall conduct its own investigation on the Department of Foreign Affairs assertion that a private contractor has caused the non-availability of Filipino passport data and other documents entrusted to it for processing,” the Commission said in a statement.

“Any form of non-availability of personal data, infringement of the rights of data subjects, and harms from processing that include inconveniencing the public, must be adequately explained to the satisfaction of the law,” NPC added.

The NPC said it will summon the DFA and concerned agencies including the alleged contractor to determine the facts surrounding the case.

“Rest assured the NPC will continue to champion the rights of Filipino data subjects,” it said.

In a tweet, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin said the agency is rebuilding its passport database after the terminated contractor took off with all the data of passport applicants.

Locsin also informed passport renewal applicants to bring their birth certificates so it can be inputted again in the reconstruction of the database.

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