Data, Privacy, Pandemic: India just had the Biggest Medical Records Breach Ever
Oommen C. Kurian writes:
Public debate this week has been dominated by how WhatsApp compromises personal data and privacy, and the pros and cons of its competitors. On 5 January, there was a story on a technology portal about how details of COVID-19 test results of tens of thousands of patients were leaked on the net through multiple Government of Delhi domains (delhigovt.nic.in/delhi.gov.in/revenue.delhi.gov.in). Individual reports of lab tests were available as well. Yet, no media follow up happened on the issue.
What happened by accident in Delhi is quite similar to what Karnataka deliberately did early on during the pandemic: With the aim of supporting contact-tracing, the government published the addresses of those who tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. The question of whether the right to privacy can be suspended during a pandemic, and how the duty of patient confidentiality is handled by guardians of data during a pandemic, was briefly discussed in the media.
Read more on Observer Research Foundation.