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Govt. concerned over data breach reports in Sri Lanka’s visa system

10 May 2024 09:41 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Immigration and Emigration asked to look into the breach of personal data

By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya  

While saying that the government is concerned over reports of data breach related to Sri Lanka’s visa issuance system, the Public Security Ministry said yesterday that they will look into the matter. 

Public Security Ministry Secretary Viyani Gunathilaka told the Daily Mirror that they were concerned about the reports and informed the Department of Immigration and Emigration to look into the matter.   

Amidst the ongoing visa fiasco, popular travel influencer Will Davis, also known as ‘TrekTrendy’ on YouTube, took to Instagram to raise alarm about a concerning data breach related to Sri Lanka’s visa issuance system.  

Davis shared his distress over receiving daily emails containing tourist visas, complete with sensitive personal information such as full names, addresses and passport details.   

He said that despite having his visa approved a long time ago, he has been continuously receiving details of other applicants from VFS Global.  

“Some of you may remember the Sri Lanka visa saga a few weeks ago. Well whilst mine has long been approved, each day I’ve been getting other tourists visas emailed to me complete with full names, address and passport info. How is this a thing?! I’ve reached out in an attempt to try and make these stop but what a massive data breach,” Will Davis posted on Instagram.  

Recently, VFS Global faced criticism for its visa issuance procedures at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and fees following the circulation of a viral video on social media.   

In the wake of perplexities surrounding the issuance of the on-arrival visa issuance, VFS Global has temporarily ceased operations at the BIA counter. 

Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security along with Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration were summoned before the Committee on Public Finance yesterday for a balanced inquiry into the matter.   

During the meeting, the CoPF has decided not to temporarily divulge any details on the visa fiasco because of its sensitive nature.  

The CoPF Chairman Harsha de Silva said that the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration was asked to look into the breach of personal data. 

      


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