MoH privacy breach of Covid cases

The Ministry of Health is under scrutiny again over the leak of personal details of New Zealand’s 18 active Covid cases.

RNZ: Details of active Covid-19 cases leaked in privacy breach

RNZ has seen a document that includes the full names, addresses, age and the names of the hotel and one hospital the 18 have been quarantining in.

The State Services Commission has been called in to make sure a “thorough investigation” is held.

State Services Minister Chris Hipkins said the fact this personal information had been given out was totally unacceptable, and he has ordered an investigation.

“I have been advised by the Ministry of Health that at this stage it cannot be confirmed beyond doubt whether a deliberate leak was involved or if this was simply human error.

“If it was the former, it is unconscionable and absolutely beggars belief why anyone would feel it was an acceptable action to take, given the trauma it is likely to cause those whose information is involved. It would, quite frankly, be abhorrent, and potentially criminal.

“Either way”, he said, “it cannot happen again.

“The public has every right to expect their private information to be held securely.”

NZ Herald:  Covid 19 coronavirus patients’ details leaked: Investigation launched as agencies scramble.

Confidential patient details of all the active Covid-19 cases in New Zealand have been leaked, including their names and dates of birth.

The massive breach of privacy contains the details of 18 confirmed cases, ranging from a 30-year-old woman in Auckland to a 70-year-old man in Canterbury.

It includes the personal details of the man in his 30s receiving care in Auckland City Hospital.

The leaked spreadsheet, seen by the Weekend Herald, also shows which border facility the Covid-positive people were staying in when they tested positive and where they were moved for quarantine.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner said from the little information it had on the leak, it sounded “like a serious breach involving highly sensitive information”.

“Should individuals make complaints to us or we learn additional information, we may investigate further.”

Data systems and management of data has been a real problem for the MoH, and this adds to embarrassment over the inadequacies.

Curiously from Audrey Young at NZ Herald in Jacinda Ardern plagued with fresh problems in health:

If (Clark) had held out for another two days, she would have been forced to sack him anyway, over the incredible privacy breach of the Covid-19 patient details.

As he is new to the job Hipkins just has to deal with the breach, but it could be time consuming for him in his new role..

Leave a comment

18 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  4th July 2020

    O dear, how could this happen under Ardern’s regime?
    After all it was she who stated that she “ was a perfectionist.”

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th July 2020

      Under her regime it’s probably quite difficult to identify all would be saboteurs.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th July 2020

      “she “ was a perfectionist.”
      In getting Covid out of the community , and its worked based on the policy the government set, thats why the government has 80% support for what happened
      Other parties have to make do with Seymour, a rather sad fellow. Always reminds me of how a then nobody Stalin became leader after Lenin. That sort situation also made famous by Peter Sellers in the movie Being There. A Serious Gardner can go a long way in politics

      Reply
  2. “If (Clark) had held out for another two days, she would have been forced to sack him anyway”
    Is Audrey Young running the show now? Hipkins can breathe a sigh of relief, being let off the hook this time.

    Reply
  3. Being a spreadsheet is somewhat telling. It is either *the* system being used to manage those people, or an output of that system.

    Which leads me to think it was emailed to perhaps the wrong person, or an unscrupulous one. Either way it lends itself to not being a hack or anything like that, but user fault

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th July 2020

      Spoil sport! Some person pushing the wrong key at the wrong time being ‘user fault’ a human making a mistake? Dammit, just when I was looking forward to blood of some politician being let on the steps of Parliament you come up with something rational.

      This week I had a phone call from someone who wanted to know about dropping off the pregnant cows! I could have scored there but said they weren’t actually meant for me.

      When someone got a MOH communication they should not have got did they immediately get back with who sent it saying “Whoa! I’m deleting it immediately, but just letting you know.” Or did they go to the media? Or get in touch with Michael Woodhouse? Or two women on the way to Hutt Valley? Or some homeless guy in a flash hotel?

      Reply
      • I had a little chuckle at the pregnant cows bit. But yeah, officially people are supposed to delete, let the sender know and either the recipient or sender contact the privacy commissioner. Obviously they wanted some government embarassment. My pick is the homeless guy.

        Reply
  4. Duker

     /  4th July 2020

    Meanwhile in the real news , a National MP from the Deep South was making racist comments about isolation passengers about to be accommodated in Queenstown hotels. That cant be blamed on Clark or Ardern , so isnt news.

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  4th July 2020

      Duker, even for you that is a low blow.
      The MP concerned is married to a Maori and a great family man.
      He was expressing the concerns of his constituents, particularly the medical professionals who have very clearly stated that the area is medically unsuited if an outbreak occurs as a result of these arrivals from high risk countries.
      For telling the truth he has endured a “ conversation “ with the current PC leader of the opposition.
      Pathetic !

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th July 2020

      Well done Duker. An MP selectively mentioning people from one part of the world to use racial prejudice and fear deserves to be called out. “He was expressing the concerns of his constituents?” Yes the racism of constituents. He should have got out and spoken to some of the constituents there with more than half a brain. They may have helped him couch concerns about isolation centres in less inflammatory ways. Thank goodness no one did that though because it would have asked the man within.

      Being married to a Maori and a great family man clearly doesn’t stop him being a pillock.

      Reply
    • David

       /  4th July 2020

      You keep falling for Megan Woods playbook.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  4th July 2020

        MP plays to sad racist crowd with terrible output. Shows what a child he is.

        Yes, I see can see how it’s Megan Wood’s fault or playbook, whatever. The first I knew about the situation was when I heard his RNZ interview live early in the day then the incredible stuff from Michael Woodhouse. I was amazed that an MP could be so stupid. (The Woodhouse suspense of belief thing was easy to understand.)
        I don’t need Megan Woods to teach me how to spot the idiots when I can hear them clearly on fm101.2

        Reply
  5. David

     /  4th July 2020

    Another timing coincidence and avoiding another public drubbing.
    No one gets held accountable as per usual

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th July 2020

      No-one held accountable? Here is your chance. Outline exactly, specifically what you think should happen to get over the problem you see.

      Reply
  6. This is by no means the only time that people’s private info has been spread by Labour.

    Reply

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