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Comelec improving security and IT capabilities

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According to spokesman John Rex Laudiangco, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is continually improving the security and capability of its information technology (IT) in order to thwart hacking and data breaches.

After the National Private Commission (NPC) absolved the Comelec and software maker Smartmatic of data privacy infractions pertaining to the 2022 elections due to “lack of merit,” Laudiangco made the declaration.

“With the assistance of Commissioner (Nelson) Celis, who is a well-known IT expert, we are continuously studying and educating the use of new technologies, especially those relevant to the elections,” he said.

The NPC stated that its inquiry determined that Comelec and Smartmatic were “not accountable” for concealing security breaches involving sensitive personal information under Section 30 of the Data Privacy Act in the judgment dated Sept. 22, 2022 but only made public on Jan. 18, 2023. (DPA).

Ricardo Argana, a fired employee of Smartmatic, and other people will be recommended by the privacy body for prosecution under Section 29 of the DPA for unlawful access or a global breach.

An estimated 60 terabytes of data believed to contain personal information and sensitive personal information were purportedly compromised in early January 2022, according to the complaint involving the alleged breach of Comelec servers.

The “hardening of hardware” and “escalation of encryption in all programs and software,” according to Laudiangco, are two steps in the process of fortifying Comelec’s technological systems.

This affects every aspect of the Comelec’s operations, whether they are directly connected to the elections or to regular business, he said.

As a member of the Comelec – Information Technology Department, the Comelec has established a “Cybersecurity Division.”

In order to open this new office, which is essential if we are to stay up with technological innovation, our authorities and staff are presently receiving cybersecurity training, according to Laudiangco.

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