An investigation is underway after the confidential data of 14,200 people diagnosed with HIV and 2,400 of their contacts were leaked online, with authorities saying they believe the incident happened because of the 'mishandling of information' by a Singaporean doctor.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed the data breach this week, saying the information included the personal details and medical information of 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners who had received a diagnosis of HIV.
In a statement, the MOH said it believes the information is in the possession of an American citizen named Mikhy K Farrera Brochez who had previously resided in Singapore but was deported after completing a sentence for fraud and drug-related offences. Mr Brochez is the former partner of the Singaporean doctor and former head of MOH’s National Public Health Unit, Mr Ler Teck Siang.
The MOH said it believed this latest incident had arisen “from the mishandling of information by Ler, who is suspected of not having complied with the policies and guidelines on the handling of confidential information."
It said it “takes a grave view of such matters” and will not hesitate to take “stern action” against those who fail to handle confidential information in a “proper manner.”