MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said it has disabled its online passport tracker after discovering a “data privacy issue” involving the platform.
The agency said it has taken down the tracker and all its data sources “to avoid further data broadcasting”.
An investigation is ongoing as the DFA takes appropriate measures “to secure the data that may have been exposed”. Apart from this, an internal audit is underway to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
The agency said its Consular Affairs Office was made aware of the issue on November 9.
“DFA-OCA (Office of Consular Affairs) 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 and is working with the National Privacy Commission in resolving this issue,” it said.
DFA’s passport tracker, launched last September 11, is a platform that allows applicants to view the status of their application online.
The agency has yet to provide specific details regarding the issue and on the number of applicants whose information was exposed.
In the meantime, it asked its clients to reach out to the following contact details about the status of their passport applications:
Email addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotlines: 09773533942, 09619432021, 09560526290 or (02) 8651-9400. (PNA)