National | Health

Giant data breach sees 12,000 people’s details leaked

A former employee of Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora is facing charges over the leak.


At least 12,000 people have been had their personal information disclosed by a former staff member of Te Whatu Ora.

Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora is working through the process of notifying the first group of Covid-19 vaccinators whose personal details were released in a downloadable file on a United States blog.

Health New Zealand chief executive Margie Apa says the agency “deeply regrets what happened and “apologises sincerely to those affected. We are making information, advice and support available to individuals being notified.”

So far Health NZ has identified 12,000 people who need to be individually located.

Apa says the number of people affected may rise.

“As soon as we found out about this, we asked for the information to be removed. It was later taken down.”

Vaccinated people

International cyber security experts are assisting and monitor the information disclosed online.

There is also a small group of vaccinated people who potentially can be identified within the data though Apa says that information can only be identified with considerable effort and technical expertise..

Te Whatu Ora is working closely with the police and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

The former employee has been charged with disclosing and spreading misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines.

Health NZ/ Te Whatu Ora has assured that the vaccines are safe and denied the misinformation spread due to the breach.

Apa says Health NZ is pushing towards strengthening the data to help prevent such breaches in the future.