Taipei AIDS prevention center leaks files of 3,000 patients

Incident occurred in 2007 and was discovered in 2016

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Taipei City Hospital AIDS prevention center director Yen Muh-yong (left) and Taipei City deputy health chief Chen Cheng-cheng.

Taipei City Hospital AIDS prevention center director Yen Muh-yong (left) and Taipei City deputy health chief Chen Cheng-cheng. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taipei City Hospital’s AIDS prevention center admitted Wednesday it had leaked the files of 3,000 patients, but added it had taken the necessary measures to fix the problem.

The Kunming Prevention and Control Center, named after its location on Kunming Street in the capital’s Wanhua District, said the incident actually dated back to 2007 and was only found out in 2016, the Central News Agency reported.

An official at the center had prepared a list of statistics for a speech about trends in HIV/AIDS but had never found out that the data linked back to the original patient files, according to statements by the center’s director, Yen Muh-yong (顏慕庸), at a news conference Wednesday. The data never left the computer inside the center, Yen added.

It was only nine years later, when an AIDS patient wrote his own name in an online search engine and found the private information, that the leak was discovered, Yen said.

The director said the center reacted to the patient’s phone call by immediately removing the information and improving the system. Within three days, the private data were deleted from seven online platforms, he added.

Not a single AIDS patient was adversely affected by the leak, and since then, regular testing was being conducted to prevent such an incident from occurring again, CNA quoted Yen as saying.