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DFA takes down passport tracker due to ‘data privacy issue’

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Nov 10, 2021 5:53 pm

The Department of Foreign Affairs is investigating the reported data privacy issue that involves its Online Passport Tracker, and has taken down the platform and all its data sources.

“The DFA’s IT Unit is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this issue and is taking appropriate measures to secure the data that may have been exposed,” the DFA wrote in a statement on Nov. 10.

“DFA-OCA has taken down the Online Passport Tracker and all its data sources to avoid further data broadcasting,” it added.

According to the DFA, an internal audit will also be conducted “to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.”

The Online Passport Tracker, which was launched on Sept. 11, is a platform that allows applicants to view the status of their passport application.

“DFA-OCA assures the public that it continues to prioritize the protection and privacy of the data it handles in accordance with the Data Privacy Act of 2021 (Republic Act No. 10173) and is working with the National Privacy Commission in resolving this issue,” the statement reads.

The DFA said applicants may reach out to the following contact details regarding the status of their passport applications:

• E-mail addresses: [email protected] and [email protected]
Hotlines: 0977-3533942, 0961-9432021, 0956-0526290 or 8651-9400