Access to a website that allegedly breached the personal data of motorists registered under the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will continue to be restricted, following the decision of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) to extend its stop order on the site.
The NPC said in a statement on Monday that it extended the cease-and-desist order (CDO) on lisensya.info, after owners of the website failed to respond to the allegations raised against them.
The NPC said the extension would apply “until modified or lifted” by the commission.
The NPC did not detail the extent of the alleged breach, merely saying that the LTO registered 12.725 million vehicles in 2019.
The privacy watchdog first issued a CDO on Nov. 12 against respondents Jose Minao and Billy James Jimena, who were identified as the website’s owners and operators. They were given until Nov. 22 to present their defense.
The website had a “Motor Vehicle Authenticator,” which, through the mere input of the motor vehicle file number by anyone, would show sensitive information, such as the make, plate number, engine number, chassis number, registration expiry date and name of the owner.
The NPC, citing claims from netizens, said the data the site provided were accurate, raising suspicions of a leak in LTO’s database since these were the types of information the LTO collected from motorists for registration.
However, it seemed the authorities could not track down the website owners. According to a public copy of the CDO extension, they sent a copy of the CDO to a “possible physical address” of Jimena.
“As of this writing, there is still no registry return receipt. On the other hand, Jose Minao’s address is still left unknown because of limited information on the said person,” read the extension order dated Dec. 17, 2020.
Nevertheless, the NPC said it was now more difficult to access the website. It issued a memorandum last November directing internet service providers, which essentially provide the public with access to the internet, to block access to lisensya.info.
As of November, the NPC said the site had already been flagged by Google and internet browser Firefox.
If users go to the site through the Google Chrome browser, they would see a security warning saying that “Google Safe Browsing recently detected phishing activities” on the site. INQ
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