20,000 medical records of Malaysians found to be freely available online

The personal data in public domain include full names and 1.2 million X-ray images, CT and MRI scans from 19,922 patient records. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: About 20,000 patient records of Malaysians are freely available online due to a data glitch, ChannelNews Asia (CNA) reported.

It said they were among millions of such medical information freely accessible on computer servers worldwide, CNA said, based on an investigation by Germany-based security firm Greenbone Networks.

Greenbone had identified the problem in at least 52 countries, including Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Russia and Brazil.

CNA said so far, no records from Singapore are reported to be in public domain.

It said the personal data in public domain included full names, dates of birth, dates of medical examinations, X-ray images, CT and MRI scans.

For Malaysia, 19,922 patient data records were publicly accessible from three archive systems, along with 1.2 million images associated with these records.

“The sum of these data leaks of unprotected patient data available on the internet is one of the largest data glitches worldwide to date,” said the Greenbone report.

The report warned that the data could harm a person’s reputation and could be used for identity theft.

CNA said it was unclear how much of the data had now been safely sealed away by the hospitals affected.

FMT has contacted the health ministry for comment.