Officials from the Fukuoka prefectural government have apologized after the personal data of 9,500 people infected with COVID-19 was leaked online.
The data leak, which included the patients’ full name and health information, affected almost all of the individuals who tested positive for the virus in the prefecture, Fuji TV reported. At press conference on Wednesday, officials revealed that the data leak was caused by a misdirected email.
Since April 2020, the Fukuoka prefectural government has been compiling data on those infected with COVID-19 to assist hospitals with health care coordination. The data base included patients' full name, residential municipality, age, gender and symptoms. These details were stored on a document uploaded to an online file-sharing system.
On Nov 30, the prefectural coronavirus task force accidentally sent an email intended for medical personnel that contained the data's access permission. The data breach was made by typing the wrong email address.
The male recipient of the email contacted the prefectural task force on that same day, which allowed them to revoke his access to the data. However, the countermeasure was ineffective in preventing information leakage since the document could be viewed by typing the URL into a web browser.© Japan Today