Coronavirus contact tracking employees are caught sharing patient confidential information on Facebook and WhatsApp
- Names, NHS numbers, contact details and case IDs of the shared positive cases
- The employees sent each other the screenshots when they asked for help with the system
- The health ministry said there was a system for tracers in need of help
Coronavirus contact tracking officials have been reported to disclose patient confidential information to Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
Screenshots with names, NHS numbers, contact details, and case IDs of people who tested positive for the virus were shared Sunday Times.
The staff shared the screenshots and asked for help navigating the computer system.
It is the latest blow to Matt Hancock's contact tracking system that has been rushed out of the gate before it was done and still does not contact everyone who has tested positive.
Since May 28, NHS tracers have not reached 24 percent of those who tested positive.
Contact tracers shared screenshots of names, NHS numbers, contact details, and case IDs of people who tested positive for the virus. (Camp)
A screenshot of a team leader in a Facebook group with more than 800 members revealed a patient ID number.
Another, shared by a clinical contract tracer, showed the names and phone numbers of patients who had tested positive.
She uploaded the picture to a WhatsApp group with the comment: "No idea what to do next".
There are at least three groups for contact tracers on Facebook, which together have thousands of members.
A tracer who did not want to be named told the Sunday Times that tracers joined the groups because "the training is shambolic and the (contact tracking) system is a shame".
The contact tracking system has managed to get in touch with 75 percent of those referred
Data protection fighters have classified the violations as "alarming" and "pointed out that the most basic standards of training and confidentiality are inexcusably missing".
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, told MailOnline that these were "shocking" violations of privacy and medical confidentiality.
& # 39; As the government builds ever-expanding databases and surveillance systems in response to the pandemic, these serious data breaches are further evidence of the risks to the public.
"Tracing contacts is based on public trust, but trust is lost day by day."
The Department of Health said there are internal systems that tracers can use to ask team leaders and clinical leaders for advice, although apparently this is not always used.
A spokesman said: "We have more than 2,700 contact tracers, all of whom have received extensive training, and we continue to develop and enhance the support we offer them.
"It is clear in their employment contracts that contact tracers should not share confidential information, including on social media."
It is the latest fiasco to hit the system after Serco shared its employees' email addresses
The fiasco comes after Serco – who was used to recruit employees – shared the email addresses of almost 300 contact tracers in May.
They were revealed in an email to employees about training when all addresses were entered in the CC area instead of the blind CC area.
A Serco spokesman said: “An email was sent to new employees who had given us permission to use their personal email addresses.
& # 39; Emails were incorrectly visible to other recipients. We apologized and reviewed our processes to make sure it didn't happen again. & # 39;
Details on the Track & Trace system between June 18 and 24 show that 75 percent of the people who tested positive were contacted and asked to provide details of their most recent contacts.
According to the National Statistics Office, the incidence of coronaviruses in the UK has dropped to six per 10,000.
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