PNP demands more information on JAMCOVID data breach

PNP demands more information on JAMCOVID data breach

Thursday, February 18, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Opposition People's National Party (PNP), through its spokesperson on science, technology and commerce, is demanding the Minister of National Security comes ready to address Parliament about reports that sensitive data of Jamaicans and other visitors were left on an unsecured server.

Reports surfacing yesterday indicate that data ranging from COVID-19 test results uploaded to the VisitJamaica website, quarantine orders, and even 440,000 signatures were accessible to the general public for an unknown amount of time.

“It's easy to say the data is 'now secure' — but we need to know what caused this breach in the first place, and the public assured that this will not recur. We're inviting people to come to Jamaica and upload sensitive data through this application, so we must guarantee our visitors that their private data will be safe,” said Hugh Graham, the Spokesperson on Science, Technology and Commerce.

“With the kind of information that was left open to potential abuse, we cannot rule out malicious intent without a clear, transparent, thorough investigation. It can't be that you find out about this kind of a breach and a few hours later you say 'at present there is no evidence' to suggest malicious intent,” Graham continued.

“The minister must be ready to address Parliament on this situation this week, or we must have the permanent secretary appear in the appropriate venue to make public the terms, nature and progress of the investigation. Platitudes and assurances don't have much currency in matters like this. What Jamaicans and the potential victims of identity theft want is a clear demonstration of competence,” Graham said.

Noting that the ministry indicated an investigation has begun, the Opposition spokesperson urged the Government to make sure it keeps the interests of potential victims top of mind, and to leave no stone unturned before declaring that the data wasn't maliciously made public and that there have been no cases of identity theft occurring from the mishap.

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