I haven’t been writing on socially relevant issues for some time now, and I try not to, but this is too serious to pass up.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has just committed a complete privacy blunder. Remember how people used to complain about voter registration and their precinct assignments and all that? They devised a not–so–brilliant solution: prepare a list of registered voters and post it online. Complete names, birthdates, and addresses included.
So I tried snooping, looking for a friend’s complete address. In less than five minutes I had the information. And the birthday. A little of connect–this and connect–that will get you more information than you’re ever supposed to know. Who knows what others could do with all these personal details.
As of writing, the list on the website cited is for the National Capital Region (NCR). Though that’s not all voters in the country, it includes a significant part of the Metro Manila population — politicians, celebrities, wealthy businessmen, maybe even children of Filipino–Chinese families. What a nightmare in the making.
Who could’ve possibly conceived this inexcusable idea? No wonder why our country never fails to fall short of international expectations. Common sense seems so hard to find for some people these days.
Philippine politics is a waste of time and the people’s hard–earned money, and the elections just add even more insult to injury.
(Credits to Bri for sharing the link to the list on his multiply site.)
Update: Reader naksd was quick to point out the COMELEC’s explanation for publishing the voters list. Though there are valid points in such a move, the risk to privacy is still significant and should’ve been a primary concern.
Update (2007/0322): The voters list has been taken offline for several days now. A victory for bloggers and online vigilance? You be the judge.