DICT’s cybersecurity unit to probe passport data mess at DFA

(Eagle News)—–The cybersecurity unit of the Department of Information and Communications Technology is conducting a probe into the passport data mess at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The DICT said the probe was “to ensure that the welfare of consumers, as well as the privacy and security of the data collected and used for their specific purpose adheres to the policies and practices of DICT.”

According to the DICT, the DFA, as “one of the country’s 12 critical information infrastructures,” is required to adhere to the guidelines set out under the National CyberSecurity Plan 2022 and comply with DICT Memorandum Circular 005, s2017.

Earlier, the National Privacy Commission said it would conduct a probe into the  mess at the DFA.

The Palace said it would also ask the DFA, the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the DFA’s former contractor to explain what happened.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier said the agency’s former passport maker, Oberthur Technologies, made off with the data of passport applicants after its contract was terminated.

But former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said this was not possible as Oberthur Technologies complied with its contractual obligations before APO Production Unit Inc. came into the picture during the term of then-President Benigno Aquino III.

Locsin later said the data was not “runaway-able” but was “made inaccessible” instead.