The National Privacy Commission is recommending criminal charges against Commission on Elections Chairman J. Andres D. Bautista for the data breach that saw personal data of 1.3 million overseas Filipino voters, including their passport information, as well as fingerprints of 15.8 million people leaked on the Internet.
In its decision dated December 28, 2016, the NPC said it found the Comelec guilty of several violations of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 for the data leak that occurred between 20 and 27 of March last year.
Specifically, it said Comelec violated Sections 11, 20, 21,22 and 26 of the Data Privacy Act concerning security of personal information, accountability, and accessing of personal information and sensitive personal information, with penalties of 1-3 years jail time and fines of up to P500,000.
Global security software company Trend Micro earlier said the data dump of the Comelec's entire database online "may turn out as the biggest government related data breach in history."
It earlier warned that criminals can use the leaked personal information of Filipino voters for extortion and other illegal activities. "In previous cases of data breach, stolen data has been used to access bank accounts, gather further information about specific persons, used as leverage for spear phishing emails or BEC [Business Email Compromise] schemes, blackmail or extortion, and much more."
Comelec hacking threatens security of voters: Trend Micro
A group claiming to be Anonymous Philippines earlier defaced the Comelec's website, demanding that the poll body implement the security features of the vote-counting machines for the May 9, 2016 elections.
Comelec data leak: How to protect yourself
Meanwhile, another group, LulzSec, said it leaked online 340 gigabytes of the Comelec database.
Bautista earlier said the hackers failed to access any confidential information that may derail the 2016 elections. He also admitted that details from "passports of certain overseas Filipino voters" were leaked.
Data breach: Website uploads voter info, Comelec downplays leak
At least two suspects have been arrested by the National Bureau of Information for the Comelec data breach.
NBI arrests 2nd hacker in Comelec data breach
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