PH privacy commission to probe passport data loss

MANILA, Philippines – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said Saturday, January 12 that it will conduct a probe into the Department of Foreign Affair's revelation that a former contractor for Philippine passports "took off" with personal data. 

"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 privacy body said in a statement on Saturday.

NPC said that DFA, concerned agencies, and the alleged contractor will be summoned to the probe.

"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 said.

Earlier in January, a series of tweets by DFA Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr revealed that a certain passport contractor allegedly "took away" Filipinos' personal data "because [it] got pissed" when its contract was terminated.

This is why passport renewal applicants have to submit their birth certificates again, Locsin explained.

Netizens expressed concern about this incident, as the extent of the data loss is still unknown. –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.