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DFA removes online passport tracker due to data security hole


THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said it had taken down its online passport tracker after discovering data privacy issues.

The agency’s Office of Consular Affairs took down the tracker and all its data sources to “avoid further data broadcasting,” it said in a statement.

“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,” DFA said. An internal audit would also be done to prevent similar incidents from happening again, it added.

The tracker was launched in Sept. 11 to help applicants view the status of their passport application.

DFA said it would continue to protect data it handles in accordance with the Data Privacy Act.

Applicants who wish to inquire on the status of their passport can contact DFA by telephone or e-mail, or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. — Russell Louis C. Ku

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