Third Party Passport Maker Steals Information From Millions of Filipinos

Our country is currently facing a data breach as the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA’s) passport maker ran off with all of the data they had when their contract ended with the DFA. This led to the department to require people who are renewing their passports to bring their birth certificates with them.

I know that it might sound ridiculous but it was because the previous passport maker took away all of the applicants’ data, as per current DFA Secretary Teodoro “Teddy” Locsin Jr.

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Locsin said that they are currently rebuilding all of their data from nothing and asked everyone to bear with them.

We are rebuilding our files from scratch because previous outsourced passport maker took all the data when the contract (was) terminated.”

He further explains that the outsourced company was not happy when the contract wore off. That was one of the reasons why they ran off with the data of the DFA.

Because previous contractor got pissed when terminated it made off with data. We did nothing about 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.”

Who are the people required to bring their passports?

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, applicants who are renewing green, brown, or maroon machine-readable passports are those who need to submit their birth certificates.

As per Cato, what they need is to retrieve and store the document in their database because they don’t have the physical copies. More so, they were not able to secure a duplicate copy of it.

Since this event, DFA Secretary said that they are doubling their efforts to hasten and improve passport issuance.

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One Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) expressed his disappointment via Twitter about the problem when he tried renewing his passport last week. Locsin made the inquiry on why it is necessary for the applicants to pass their birth certificates if they are only “renewing” their passports.

He noted that the expired passport is actually a sufficient ID already.

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Isn’t the expired passport sufficient id? how many times do you have to prove you are what the State declared you are in the expired passports?”

What do you think about this? Is it just right for the DFA to double their security measures moving forward? What are your thoughts about this?

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