‘Corrupted’ biometrics records safe in local Comelec offices

Michael Bueza
‘Corrupted’ biometrics records safe in local Comelec offices
The Comelec explains that it was the copies of these biometrics data transported to the poll body's main office that became corrupted, not the original data

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) allayed fears about some the biometrics data of some 1.9 million registered voters that reportedly got “corrupted.”

In an interview on Monday, June 29, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said it was the copies of the biometrics files transported to the Comelec main office in Manila that became corrupted.

He explained that the biometrics data saved in the computers in local Comelec offices are intact, and that these data have back-ups.

“Local Comelec offices send a copy of these biometrics data to the central office in Manila via CDs. Among those CDs, there were some that cannot be opened. It’s here [at the transport stage] where the 1.9 million records were found to be corrupted,” said Jimenez.

“The implication is, it’s the copies that were corrupted. This is essentially the 3rd copy, because you still have the original and the back-up copies” he added.

Ibig sabihin, kung meron mang 1.9 million [records] na may problema, ‘yung original data mo, hindi naman nagalaw,” continued Jimenez. (That means, there may have been 1.9 million records that had problems, but the original data were not affected.)

In response, the affected local Comelec offices were instructed to resend copies of biometrics data. He noted that many election offices submit biometrics data via CDs because they are not yet connected to the Internet.

Jimenez added that registered voters in this case do not need to have their biometrics data recaptured.

However, the 1,728 biometrics records that were earlier reported to have suffered “minor data degradation” or loss of quality would still need to undergo a recapture of biometrics data to complete their voter records. (READ: No ‘lost’ biometrics data – Comelec)

“Before the local offices could even submit biometrics data to Manila, they need to check the quality of the biometrics data, because they back up the data also. So when they notice problems on the data, right then and there, they resolve the situation,” Jimenez said. – Rappler.com

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.