Friday 27 May 2022

Health boards ignored coronavirus IT system privacy concerns: RTL

sign outside the GGD test location at the RAI in Amsterdam

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The leaks in the regional health board systems for tracking and tracing people with coronavirus or registering those who had tested were known to the authorities months ago, but they failed to act, broadcaster RTL said on Thursday.

In addition, concerns about privacy raised by people working in the systems were ignored or brushed off by people in positions of authority, RTL said in its latest report on the scandal.

The broadcaster has spoken to dozens of people who were involved in planning tests or tracing contacts since reporting that two call centre workers had been arrested for selling private information online.

The main criticism stems from the fact that health board workers have free access to the system, and therefore information about millions of people. Workers are also concerned about the lack of supervision and the mass employment of outsiders who also have access to the data.

A spokesman for the health board organisation (GGD) said that it did not recognise the claims.

Access

Earlier this week, health minister Hugo de Jonge said workers could only access the ‘necessary’ details but RTL’s sources dispute that.

‘I could access the systems in all sorts of other health boards, which I should not have been able to do,’ one person said. ‘Everyone looks up their friends, family and famous people, and until recently, by pressing on ‘export’ you could get all the information. I’m not at all surprised people are selling private information.’

In addition, staff would swap information via Whatsapp, or store it via Google or iCloud, RTL said.

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