-The biggest leak of personal data of about 55 million registered voters happened months before the election
- A 23 year old fresh graduate confessed on the hacking incident
- Investigating body, NPC believes that COMELEC chairman Andres Bautista should take the blame for violation of data privacy
The whole nation was shook when what might be the biggest leak of personal data in the Philippines happened last March 27.
The website of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) was hacked months right before the national election. With the amount of personal information available to the general public such as their full name, address, birthday, and even their voter’s identification number, identity theft could easily be done if these information fall on the wrong hands.
Despite the hacking incidents, COMELEC was quick to assure the public that despite the leak, their votes will still be protected. COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez even pointed out how identity theft would be hard to accomplish because even with a list of names and addresses, setting up a bank account will still be complicated as an example.
Fast forward to April 20, the 23 year old fresh graduate who took the responsibility for the hack was arrested in his house in Sampaloc, Manila.
Filipinos were divided in their opinion on what to do with the hacker because once in captive, the young man expresses that he has no intention to harm but was rather just helping the agency to show them how vulnerable COMELEC’s website is.
Many argued that the hacker deserves the jail time for possibly violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 while others were more skeptic to COMELEC and their ability to hold a secure national election. The obvious question looms, “Who should take responsibility?”
Commissioner Rowena Guanzon believes that the COMELEC chair, Andres Bautista, is the answer to that question. Along with fellow commissioners, Christian Robert Lim and Al Parreño, Bautista was summoned earlier this week by the investigating body, National Privacy Commission (NPC).
NPC asked them to explain how it is possible for the database of 55 million voters was publicly posted.
Guanzon was quick to point out that it was mentioned in the Data Privacy Act that when a hacking incident occurs, the head of the office should take responsibility.
Bautista and six (6) other commissioners are not in good terms, as proven when the commissioners filed a strongly-worded memorandum against the former and accused him for his supposed failed leadership. -HB, Kami Media